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12/16/2013
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Amazon Offers Kindle Tablet Payment Plan

To spur adoption of its content-delivery machines, Amazon allows holiday shoppers pay for their tablets over time.

10 Best Tablets Of 2013
10 Best Tablets Of 2013
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Amazon is serious about selling its Kindle Fire tablets this holiday season. Over the weekend, the company unveiled a new promotion that allows tablet purchasers to spread the cost of the Kindle Fire out over nine months.

At the moment, only two of Amazon's tablets qualify for this payment option: the Kindle Fire HDX with the seven-inch screen and the Kindle Fire HDX with the 8.9-inch screen. Both tablets were unveiled earlier this year and include an innovative "Mayday" function that launches free, video-chat tech support. The smaller tablet is priced starting at $229 and the larger one is $379.

The financing is divided into four lump sums. Anyone interested in purchasing a Kindle Fire HDX tablet must may 25% of the full purchase price upfront, including tax and shipping. The three remaining payments must then be made once every 90 days, concluding about nine months from the original purchase date.

Kindle Fire HDX with 8.9-inch screen.
Kindle Fire HDX with 8.9-inch screen.

The least-expensive version of the smaller tablet requires payments of $57.25 every three months, while the least-expensive version of the larger tablet requires payments of $94.75 every three months. The prices go up depending on storage and connectivity options.

Amazon's new payment option is offered with no interest, no finance charges, no hidden fees, and no credit checks. There is some fine print worth noting, however. The company says it might cut tablets off that aren't paid for in time. "Our remedies will include the right to deregister your Kindle Fire HDX device, which will block your ability to access Amazon content from your Kindle Fire HDX device."

Why offer financing? Amazon must be feeling the heat from competing tablets.

[What's right for you? See Tablet Shopping Guide: 8 Tips.]

ChangeWave recently published a study revealing few consumers are interested in the Kindle tablets. Just 5% of the 2,480 North American consumers polled by ChangeWave plan to buy a Kindle. Nearly everyone else wants an Apple iPad, according to ChangeWave's data. The iPad scored high with 72% of pollees, who indicated they plan to purchase one of Apple's tablets this holiday season. Only 9% are looking at Samsung tablets, 9% are looking at Nexus 7/10 tablets, and 8% are looking at the Microsoft Surface 2.

Amazon uses a forked version of Android on the Kindle tablets. They do not offer Google Services and aren't necessarily compatible with all Android apps.

Eric Zeman is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2013 | 2:17:59 PM
Nice idea
I like the idea. This article reminds me of something I read a while back about Amazon eventually giving its tablet devices away and making all of its money from content. 

I feel like this is a little experiement towards that effect. Remember, if someone does not make the required payments here, Amazon will yank its services from the device. That would probably make the slate useless, so it will be interesting to see if this becomes a popular payment option.
Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 5:06:38 PM
Good move for the holidays
If you're strapped for cash -- as many people are during the holidays -- this is an attractive offer, especially with no fees. Certainly shows Amazon is serious about its tablets.
melgross
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melgross,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2013 | 10:13:27 PM
Not selling
It seems, from the latest stats, that these tablets aren't selling very well. That would be a good reason for this approach on credit.
Susan Fogarty
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Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
12/17/2013 | 11:12:27 AM
Re: Nice idea
This is probably the beginning of Amazon moving toward charging strictly for content, but I think it's a terrible idea for customers. Kindles are not expensive to begin with, and this will just lure more people into buying them who then cannot afford to buy the books they really want to read on them. I find it's cheaper sometimes to now buy the hardcover copy of a book than the kindle version. They can hardly give the hardcovers away :(
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