TORONTO - When Amazon released its Kindle Fire HD tablets in Canada earlier this year they had already been on U.S. shelves for nine months.
The company's new Kindle Fire HDX tablets will also land in the U.S. first, but just a few weeks sooner.
"We're a global company and we believe it's important to get all our products and services and capabilities everywhere as quickly as possible and we're getting better at that," said Kindle marketing vice president Neil Lindsay in an interview to announce three new tablets coming soon.
"So hopefully you're seeing that with this launch, we're trying to shrink that gap and we'll continue to focus on trying to do that more and more."
The first new tablet to hit the Canadian market will be a refreshed version of the seven-inch Kindle Fire HD, which is aggressively priced at just $149 for a eight-gigabyte model. It will begin shipping Oct. 24.
"People share devices, tablets especially at home, and we want to make it easier for customers to maybe not have to share. A $149 device helps make that more accessible," said Lindsay.
The company will also start shipping seven-inch and 8.9-inch versions of its new Kindle Fire HDX tablets on Nov. 26, which will start at $254 and $399 for 16-gigabyte models.
Lindsay said they're three times faster than the last generation of Fire HD tablets — with quad-core processors and two gigabytes of RAM — have improved screen quality, and are lighter. The 8.9-inch tablet weighs 374 grams, compared to 650 grams for the latest iPad.
But one of the buzziest features of the new HDX tablets is not available in Canada at launch. A video-based technical support service called Mayday won't be ready for north of the border.
Lindsay also said there is still no news on bringing the Amazon Prime Instant Video service — which is similar to Netflix — to Canada, nor is there an update on when Canadians might get the Kindle Owners' Lending Library feature, which offers free access to some ebooks.
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