Amazon's Fire HD, a basic Android tablet, has only been on sale in the U.S. and a tiny clutch of other locations until now--but that's changed with the news that Amazon is taking the Fire HD and HD 8.9-inch tablet to 170 countries. Simultaneously, the Amazon App Store is set to become available in 200 countries.
Pre-orders for the Fire tablets, which seem to be only the Wi-fi models rather than ones with mobile data, go live today and will be available on June 13th. The prices will be locally equivalent to $214 for smaller tablets, and $284 for bigger tablets. The price makes the device more expensive than Google's hot-selling $199 Nexus 7 device, and cheaper than the market-dominating iPad Mini, which has an entry price of $329.
Rumors suggest that Google is poised to release an updated Nexus 7 device with a higher resolution screen and thinner body for the same $199. And Apple is believed to be preparing an updated iPad Mini with slimmer body and "retina" display.
Amazon's play is an unashamedly bold attempt to capture market share from Apple, Google and Samsung--companies that lead the tablet market, globally. Amazon says the Fire is its top selling product, but has never released actual sales figures. In context estimates based on Apple's numbers place iPad Mini sales near 10 million for the last quarter.