Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) can finally open up the 4G version of its Kindle Fire tablet for pre-orders after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission gave its approval for the device to run on the country’ networks, Reuters said. Even though Amazon had unveiled the new tablets last month, it was forced to put disclaimers on web pages and emails promoting the devices because of the pending FCC case.
The company upgraded its Kindle Fire line last month with two separate sized versions of the tablet — the usual 7-inch one and a new 8.9-inch one. While the Wi-Fi-only version of the larger tablet starts at $299, the 4G version starts at $499. A 64 GB version of the tablet will cost $599. Consumers also have the option of buying the tablets without advertising for an additional $15.
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While Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its Nexus 7 tablet in the 7-inch category in the summer, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is set to announce its own tablet, Surface, later this month. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also rumored to be preparing to announce a smaller version of the iPad with an eye on retaining its firm hold on the market.
The FCC has to approve all wireless devices for safety and to ensure that they don’t negatively harm other signals. Analysts expressed surprise last month that Amazon had chosen to announce several major new products without first getting the all-clear from the agency, but did not think the FCC was likely to reject approval or delay the process.
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