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Amazon is holding a press conference in Santa Monica today where it’s widely expected the company will announce new 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets—possibly with Special Offers—as well as Kindle e-readers. An Amazon smartphone is also a possibility. 

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[11:56 AM PST] Just to recap, the smaller Kindle Fire will ship September 14, and the larger models will ship on November 20. And … the press conference is over. No Amazon phone, apparently. Too bad. Many thanks to those of you who followed along, and keep your eyes on TeleRead, where we will certainly be parsing these new devices and announcements in the near future.

[11:54 AM PST] Yep: Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE Wireless for $499. They engineered their own wireless modem to develop the thing. The dataplan is $50 a year for 250mb a month … which is useless. (Why would you want 4G speed when you only have 250mb per month?) This device ships November 20.

[11:51 AM PST] High-end version of the Kindle Fire for $499? Not sure …

[11:49 AM PST] Interesting quote from Bezos:  ”We want to make money when people USE our devices, not when people buy our devices.”

[11:45 AM PST] Kindle Fire HD also has Bluetooth. PRICE: $199  for the 7-inch 16GB model. The 8.9-inch version is going for $299; order today and it ships November 20.

[11:42 AM PST] Turns out the updated Kindle Fire does have a camera … it looks like the Kindle Fire HD does not have a camera. Not entirely sure just yet, though. (The Kindle Fire HD does have a camera, it seems.)

[11:32 AM PST] New feature: Kindle FreeTime, a tool that sets screen time limits on the device. (For users with kids, specifically.) Parental control on tablets is finally here! This is big, I’d say.

[11:30 AM PST] Wow, very cool new feature: X-Ray for Movies, thanks to a partnership with IMDB–another company Amazon owns. Find out details of a film’s actors in the middle of movies, for instance.

[11:28 AM PST] RE: 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD: New Feature > Whispersync for audio books. Start by listening to an audio book, say, and then continue by reading the book later … on another device, if you’d like. (Amazon owns Audible.com, don’t forget.)

[11:22 AM PST] RE: 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD: Only a small number of high-end laptops have MIMO, but now the Kindle Fire HD has MIMO.

[11:14 AM PST] 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD. Comes with Dolby Digital Plus dual stereo speakers. (The two antennas, Bezos says, will enable better connectivity. iPad and Nexus 7 only have one antenna.) (5GHz band for WiFi.) 

[11:12 AM PST] Kindle Fire news: It accounts for 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S. New Kindle Fire: 20% FASTER … and a $149 price point, available Sept. 14. Looks to have a camera. 

[11:11 AM PST] @JoannaStern: Bezos now talking about Kindle Singles (3.5 million sold so far). NEW >> Kindle Serials: Buy once and receive all installments of a book! Tagline: Bringing Serials Back.

[10:58 AM PST] PRICE: $119; you can order it today and it’ll ship October 1. 3G connectivity version: $179.  New app: Time to Read. It’ll figure out the average time it’s taking you to read a particular book, and will tell you roughly how much time it’ll take you to finish that book.[11:02 AM] The $79 Kindle 4 (with Special Offers) is NOW $69. Order it today, and receive it by September 14.

[10:33 AM PST] Kindle Paperwhite will have a capacitive touch screen, a glowlight screen and higher resolution than previous Kindles. (The light will be directed down toward the display.) Eight weeks of battery life with the light on! (That’s twice as long as the Nook Glowlight.)

[10:50 AM PST] New Kindle promo video being shown for Paperwhite!

[10:44 AM PST] Jeff Bezos is finally on the stage, wearing blue blazer: “We love to invent, we love to pioneer … “ —Bezos

[10:34 AM PST] Former Palm CEO John Rubinstein is in the room. Event still hasn’t started.

[NOTE] For updates, refresh this page throughout the Amazon event.

[10:24 AM PST] Only about 250 people in the room—much less than at the latest press conference in NYC.

[10:17 AM PST] ”Amazon could be the next big consumer electronics company.” —CNET

[10:15 AM PST] CNET is discussing the latest Amazon rumors and taking live calls at 888-900-2638

 
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