More specifically, worldwide, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet is now available in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan
With the expansion of this WiFi 8.9" model to Europe and Japan, Amazon was able to take advantage of the usual economies of scale in production.
The U.S. 32 GB 4G cellular network version starts at an incredible $399 ($100 lower)
(Remember that the $499 iPad has only 16 GB of storage and NO 3G/4G capability.
Also, Apple charges an additional $130 to get that 3G/4G hardware capability at all,
making the Apple iPad cost $629 for the smaller 16 GB storage space model,
and that's before the cost of a monthly cellular data plan for an iPad.
If you give an iPad the add'l 16 GB that the Kindle Fire 8.9" 4G model already has,
the corresponding iPad would cost another $100, or $729 total for the 3G/4G iPad,
compared to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4GB model's $399.)
UPDATE - COMPARISON Charts:
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" vs iPad
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G/LTE vs iPad 4G/LTE
A couple of advisories: If getting the 3G/4G cellular network model, with the $50/year Web data plan for the first year, good enough only for occasional email and text reading when away from WiFi networks (and not for movies), DON'T use the Weather Channel app as it is constantly trying to update info of course, and that particular app is just about impossible to shut down for more than a minute. Accuweather is said to be workable.
If you feel you need a normal, larger data plan, AT&T offers it for the Kindle Fire for $30/month, but you would choose that OR the $50/yr, and most people have enough WiFi access not to want the larger 3G/4G access when away from home, office, or store WiFi networks (even my Safeway has one now).
AT&T and Verizon also have a feature which costs an additional $15 or $20/mo. to let your smartphone 'tether' or provide its 3G/4G to a WiFi Kindle fire, which is what I do for my various tablets, but I hardly ever use it, though it's easy to do and nice when wanted.
For the UK and some areas of Europe, Amazon's LoveFilm is available for video choices, though I've not seen one for Japan yet. Apps seem available for all the places. The Japan Amazon Kindle store even has an English-language option.
My blog reports tend to offer caveats rather than just echo the product-page info, and I hope that helps with decision making.
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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