The latest update to Amazon's Kindle Fire raises the price of the tablet up from that lovely sounding $200 figure to a starting price of $229 — although that number can go as high as $479 — making it the cheap tablet no more. The Kindle Fire HDX has a number of improvements that warrant the minor price bump: It's thinner, lighter, has a higher resolution screen, faster processor, and built-in tech support with a new digital Genius Bar-type service called Mayday. But, for all of that, Amazon gives up the nice sounding "$200 tablet" moniker (a price that sits well with consumers) for something slightly more expensive and a lot less elegant.
Despite the price hike, CEO Jeff Bezos is still selling the device as a cheap gateway to all of Amazon's content. "We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices," he told The Wall Street Journal's Greg Bensinger. To be sure, $230 is still on the low-end of things. The iPad Mini starts at $329; the just announced Microsoft Surface tablet starts at $449. But there are also plenty of tablets that retail for less than $200. If Amazon really doesn't care about making money on the tablet itself, then you'd expect a price decrease, as many tech pundits had surmised earlier this year.