Kindle Fire

"Amazon Fire" redirects here. For the smartphone, see Fire Phone. For the media player, see Amazon Fire TV.
Amazon Kindle Fire
Developer, Inc.
Manufacturer Quanta Computer[1]
Type Tablet computer
Generation 1st
Release date November 15, 2011 (2011-11-15) (USA)
September 6,  2012 (2012-09-06) (Europe)
December 18, 2012 (2012-12-18) (Japan)
Units sold 7 million (as of October 2012)[2]
Operating system Based on Android OS 2.3.3 (customized: 6.3.2_user_4110520) (1st gen.)
Based on Android 4.0.3 (customized: 10.5.1_user_5172420) (2nd gen.)
System-on-chip used Texas Instruments OMAP 4 4430
CPU 1.2 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 (ARMv7)
Memory 512 MB RAM (1st gen.)
1 GB RAM (2nd gen.)[3]
Storage 8 GB[4]
Display 7 inch multi-touch Gorilla Glass display, 1024×600 at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.[4] Capacitive touch sensitive.[5]
Graphics PowerVR SGX 540
Sound 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers
Camera None
Connectivity Micro-USB 2.0 (type B)[6]
3.5 mm stereo socket[6]
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Online services Amazon Prime, Amazon Cloud Storage, Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Video, Amazon Silk, Amazon App Store, Amazon Kindle Store
Dimensions 190 mm (7.5 in) H
120 mm (4.7 in) W
11.4 mm (0.45 in) D[7]
Weight 413 g (14.6 oz)[8]
Successor Fire HD
Website Amazon Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire showing components, back cover removed

The Kindle Fire is a tablet computer developed by Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011, featuring a color 7-inch multi-touch display with IPS technology and running a custom version of Google's Android operating system called Fire OS. The Kindle Fire HD followed in September 2012, and the Kindle Fire HDX in September 2013. In September 2014, when the fourth generation was introduced, the adjective "Kindle" was dropped. In September 2015, the fifth generation Fire 7 was announced, starting at US$49.99, followed by the sixth generation Fire HD 8, in September 2016, at US$89.99.


The Kindle Fire—which includes access to the Amazon Appstore, streaming movies and TV shows, and the Kindle Store for e-books—was released to consumers in the United States on November 15, 2011, after being announced on September 28.[9]

On September 7, 2012, upgrades to the device were announced with consumer availability to those European countries with a localized version of Amazon's website (United Kingdom,[10] France, Germany, Italy and Spain).[11]

The original Kindle Fire retailed for US$199 in 2011.[12] Estimates of the device's initial bill of materials cost ranged from $150 to $202.[13][14] Amazon's business strategy was stated in 2011 as making money through sales of digital content on the Fire, rather than through sales of the device itself.[15][16][17]

As of October 2012, the Kindle Fire was the second best selling tablet after Apple's iPad, with about 7 million units sold according to estimates by Forrester Research[2] and as of 2013 Amazon's tablets were the fourth best selling.[18]

On September 6, 2012, the Kindle Fire was upgraded to the second generation, and its price was reduced to US$159, RAM upgraded to 1 GB and processor clock speed upgraded to 1.2 GHz. A more powerful and video-friendly version, the Kindle Fire HD (7 and 8.9 inch versions) was also made available, initially priced at $199 and $299.[19][20]

On September 25, 2013, the Kindle Fire HD was upgraded as the third generation Fire, priced at US$139, and the Kindle Fire HDX was introduced. The Kindle Fire HDX had an improved graphics engine, double the memory, and triple the processor speed of the previous model. The 7-inch and 8.99-inch versions were introduced at US$229 and US$379 respectively.[21][22]

In September 2014, the Fire HDX 8.9 and the Fire HD were upgraded to the fourth generation of Fire tablets, removing the "Kindle" adjective in the naming scheme.[23] There was also the Fire HD 6 that has a six-inch screen with a quad-core processor priced at US$99.[24]

In September 2015, Amazon announced the release of the Fire 7, priced at US$49.99. As of March 2016 it was the lowest-priced Amazon tablet.[25] In June 2016, its price was dropped briefly to US$39.99.[26] This fifth generation tablet includes for the first time a micro SD card slot for extra storage.[27]

In September 2016, Amazon announced the release of the Fire HD 8 and a virtual assistant Alexa,[28] priced at US$89.99. "As with most of Amazon’s devices, the aim isn’t to make money off of the hardware but instead to sell digital content such as books, movies, and TV shows to users" reports Fortune.[29]



The Kindle Fire hardware was originally manufactured by Quanta Computer (an Original Design Manufacturer), which had also helped design the BlackBerry PlayBook, using it as a hardware template for the Kindle Fire.[30] First-generation Kindle Fire devices employed a 1-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 dual-core processor. The device has a 2-point multi-touch color LCD screen with a diagonal length of 7 inches (180 mm) and a 600×1024-pixel resolution (160 dpi density). Connectivity is through 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB 2.0 (Micro-B connector). The device includes 8 GB of internal storage—said to be enough for 80 applications, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.[31][32] According to Amazon the first-generation Kindle Fire's 4400 mAh battery sustains up to 8 hours of consecutive reading and up to 7.5 hours of video playback with wireless off;[33] later generations all offered around 7–8 hours[34]

Of the 8 GB internal storage available in the first-generation Kindle Fire, approximately 6.5 GB was available for content.[35]

The first-generation Kindle Fire has a sensor on the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This was widely considered to be an ambient-light sensor, disabled since an early software upgrade.[36]

Color display technologies consume much more power than monochrome electronic paper (E-ink) types; Fire offer a typical battery life of 8 hours of mixed usage, while monochrome Kindles offer 15 to 30 hours' use without WiFi—"battery lasts weeks on a single charge"—with a much lower-capacity battery.[37]


The first generation of Kindle Fire devices run a customized Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS.[38] The second-generation Kindle Fire HD runs a customized Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich OS.[39] Along with access to Amazon Appstore,[6][40] the Fire includes a cloud-accelerated "split browser", Amazon Silk, using Amazon EC2 for off-device cloud computation; including webpage layout and rendering, and Google's SPDY protocol for faster webpage content transmission.[41][42][43] The user's Amazon digital content is given free storage in Amazon Cloud's web-storage platform,[6] 5 GB music storage in Amazon Cloud Drive, and a built-in email application allows webmail (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL Mail, etc.) to be merged into one inbox.[6] The subscription-based Amazon Prime, which includes unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows, is available with a free 30-day trial period.[6]

Content formats supported by the first-generation Kindle Fire were Kindle Format 8 (KF8), Kindle Mobi (.azw), TXT, PDF, unrestricted MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.[6]

Because of Amazon's USB driver implementation, the first-generation Kindle Fire suffered from slow USB transfer speeds. For example, transferring an 800MB video file may have taken more than three minutes in 2011.[44]

It is possible to convert a Kindle Fire to a tablet running standard Android, with some loss of Amazon-related functionality, and lacking features such as Bluetooth, microphone, camera, and memory expansion.[45]


Analysts had projected the device to be a strong competitor to Apple's iPad,[12][46] and that other Android device makers would suffer lost sales.[47][48]

In a 2012 review published by Project Gutenberg, the Kindle Fire was called a "huge step back in freedom from the Kindle 3"; the reviewer noted that Amazon introduced a "deliberate limitation" into the Fire that didn't exist in the previous version: it is no longer possible to download free e-books from websites such as Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive and Google Books and have them stored permanently in the same places where books from Amazon are kept.[49]


Customers began receiving Kindle Fires on November 15, 2011, and in December 2012, customers had purchased over a million Kindle devices per week.[50] International Data Corporation (IDC) estimated that the Kindle Fire sold about 4.7 million units during the fourth quarter of 2011.[51]

The Amazon Kindle Fire helped the company beat their 2012 first quarter estimates and boosted the company's stock in extended trading.[52] As of May 2013, about 7 million units had been sold according to estimates.[2] Statistics for FY2014 or Q1&2 2015 are not yet available.


Generation (within Amazon tablets) 1st generation (2011) 2nd generation (2012) 5th generation (2015)
Model Kindle Fire Kindle Fire Fire
Release date November 15, 2011 September 14, 2012 September 30, 2015
Status Discontinued Current
Screen size 7"
Resolution 1024 × 600 (169 ppi) 1024 × 600 (171 ppi)
OS Based on Android 2.3.3 Based on Android 4.0.3 Fire OS 5
System Version 6.3.4[53] 10.5.1[54] 5.3.1[55]
CPU Maker Texas Instruments MediaTek
Kind Dual-core OMAP4 Quad-core
Model 4430 HS MT8127D[56]
Cores ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 @ 1.2 GHz 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.3 GHz
Width 32-bit
GPU Designer Imagination Technologies ARM Holdings
Kind PowerVR Mali
Model SGX540 450
Clock 304 MHz[57] 384 MHz[56] 600 MHz
RAM 512 MiB 1 GiB
Storage Internal 8 GB 8 GB or 16 GB
External N/A At least up to 128 GB microSDXC
Camera Back 2 MP
Front 0.3 MP VGA
Microphone Yes
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0 LE
Wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Cellular N/A
Location N/A Wi-Fi based
Proximity N/A
Light sensor
Accelerometer Yes
Gyroscope N/A
Weight 413 g (14.6 oz) 400 g (14 oz) 313 g (11 oz)
Dimensions 190 × 120 × 11.4 mm
(7.48 × 4.72 × 0.45 in)
189 × 120 × 11.5 mm
(7.44 × 4.72 × 0.45 in)
191 × 115 × 10.6 mm
(7.52 × 4.53 × 0.42 in)
Battery 4400 mAh 2980 mAh[58]

See also


  1. Lai, Marcus (27 September 2011). "Amazon to burn new tablet this week, says report". Punch Jump. Punch Jump LL C. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 Brian X. Chen (2012-10-19). "How Are 7-Inch Tablets Doing?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  3. "Kindle Fire Device and Feature Specifications". Amazon Mobile app distribution. Amazon. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  4. 1 2 Lee, Tyler (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire unveiled". Ubergizmo. Blogzilla LLC.
  5. Shahbaaz (September 28, 2011). "Amazon Unveils Kindle Fire Android Tablet ($199) & Kindle Touch ($99), Kindle 2011 Priced at $79!".
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Kindle Fire - the Amazon Tablet with Full Color 7" Multi-Touch Display, Wi-Fi". Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  7. Kindle Fire Amazon description Accessed: 11/23/2011
  8. Grabham, Dan (October 31, 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire: what you need to know Updated: Kindle tablet release date, specs, features and more". TechRadar UK. Future Publishing Ltd.
  9. Kindle Fire Specs & Latest News The Verge
  10. "Kindle Fire Comes to the UK—Introducing the All-New Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire". Press releases. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
  11. "Amazon's Kindle Fire to go on sale in Europe (AFP)". 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  12. 1 2 "Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet to sell at $199, challenging iPad". Chicago Tribune. 28 September 2011. Archived from the original on 26 October 2011.
  13. Merritt, Rick (28 September 2011). "Kindle Fire profitable at estimated $150 BoM". eetimes.
  14. Olivarez-Giles, Nathan (18 November 2011). "Amazons 199 Kindle Fire costs 201.70 to build, report says". Los Angeles Times.
  15. Myslewski, Rik (30 September 2011). "Amazon's Kindle Fire is sold at a loss". The Register.
  16. Whitney, Lance (29 September 2011). "Amazon to lose $50 on each Kindle Fire, says analyst". CNET.
  17. Naughton, John (2 October 2011). "Kindle Fire: the tablet that knows your next move". The Guardian / The Observer.
  18. Martin, James. "Amazon Kindle Fire". CNET. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  19. Kindle Fire HD at store
  20. Franklin, Eric. "Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 - Tablets - CNET Reviews". Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  21. Wilson Rothman (2012-05-18). "Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX tablets pose real threat to iPad dominance". NBC Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  22. "What's new with Amazon's Fire OS 4.0 "Sangria"?". AndroidGuys.
  23. Amazon Fire HD 6 review CNET
  24. "Amazon Fire tablets". Amazon. Retrieved 4 March 2016. List of current Fire tablets on Amazon, sorted by price.
  25. "You can actually get a brand new Amazon Fire tablet right now for $40". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  26. "Fire Tablets MicroSD Card How To Guide – Everything You Need to Know". ebook reader. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  27. "Amazon's new Fire HD 8 is its first tablet with Alexa". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  28. "Amazon Debuts Its First Fire Tablet With Virtual Assistant Alexa". Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  29. "The Amazon tablet will look like a PlayBook - because it basically is.". Engadget. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  30. Murph, Darren (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire tablet unveiled: Android-based, 7-inch display, $199 price tag". Engadget. AOL Inc.
  31. Ziegler, Chris (28 September 2011). "Amazon Kindle Fire vs. iPad 2 vs. Nook Color: by the numbers". This Is My Next.
  32. "Kindle Fire - Full Color 7" Multi-Touch Display with Wi-Fi". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  33. "Fire HD 6 - Amazon site". Retrieved 7 March 2016. See "Compare Fire Tablets" section: New HD6, HD8, and HD10 all claim "Up to 8 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music"; 7" Fire claims 7 hours. Google search < "compare fire tablets"> for latest information.
  34. Dawson, Christopher (17 November 2011). "Kindle Fire: Edu holy grail or one more DRM-ridden toy?". ZDNet. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  35. "Eric Bergman-Terrell's Blog". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  36. "Kindle e-reader – Amazon's Official Site – Learn More". Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  37. Hollister, Sean (28 September 2011). "Amazon's Kindle Fire UI: it's Android, but not quite". This Is My Next.
  38. "Getting Started with Kindle Fire".
  39. Tung, Liam (2011-09-20). "Amazon opens global Appstore by stealth". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  40. Boulton, Clint (29 September 2011). "Amazon EC2 Underlies Kindle Tablet 'Silk' Browser".
  41. "Introducing Amazon Silk". Retrieved 2011-10-02.
  42. 'Amazon Silk team' (28 September 2011). "Introducing Amazon Silk".
  43. Ku, Andrew (November 24, 2011). "Storage Performance: Slightly Faster Than USB 1.0?! : The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed". Tom's Hardware: Hardware News, Tests and Reviews. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  44. Rick Broida (21 June 2013). "Turn your Kindle Fire into an Android 4.2 tablet". Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  45. Letzing, John (September 28, 2011). "Amazon to Challenge iPad". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved 2011-10-01.
  46. "Amazon's Kindle Fire Will 'Vaporize' Android But Leave Apple Unscathed". Retrieved 2013-03-18.
  47. Lee Brodie, ed. (28 September 2011). Gene Munster: Samsung, Others Should Worry about Kindle Fire. CNBC.
  48. "Kindle Fire Review". Project Gutenberg. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-17. You can get free ebooks to the Fire too, but the process is so cumbersome that it isn't worth the trouble given the alternative of buying a Nexus 7, which handles free ebooks with ease. To be specific, there is no way to download free books from the web and have the Kindle Fire store them permanently or in the same places where your books from Amazon are kept. This was easy with the Kindle 3. No more.
  49. "Amazon Appstore Presentation at CES". Amazon Appstore Developer Blog. January 6, 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  50. Thomas Claburn (2012-04-07). "iPad Mini: 6 Reasons Apple Must Do It". InformationWeek. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
  51. Nakashima, Ryan. "Kindle Fire helps Amazon beat 1Q estimates". Yahoo News -Tech. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
  52. Kindle Fire (1st Generation) Software Updates
  53. Kindle Fire (2nd Generation) Software Updates
  54. Kindle Fire (5th Generation) Software Updates
  55. 1 2 "Device and Feature Specifications - Amazon Apps & Services Developer Portal". Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  56. Amazon's Kindle Fire HD: Better; Can It Compete With The Nexus 7?
  57. "Macro photo of the Amazon Fire 2015 motherboard". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
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