- POSTED: 26 Sep 2013 16:43
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Amazon upped the ante in the tablet wars with an upgraded Kindles and what it called a "revolutionary" tech support system to help people to learn to use the Kindle.
NEW YORK CITY - Amazon upped the ante in the tablet wars Wednesday, unveiling upgraded Kindles with a boost in power while adding a live technical support call "Mayday" button for free.
Amazon introduced what it called a "revolutionary" tech support system to help people to learn to use the Kindle.
"Simply tap the Mayday button in Quick Settings, and an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself or doing it for you -- whatever works best," an Amazon statement said.
It aims to provide a response within "15 seconds or less" and free tech support will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Kindles use what Amazon calls a Fire OS operating system, which builds on Google's Android system with added cloud services, a content-first user interface, built-in media libraries, productivity apps and low-level platform enhancements to "integrate Amazon's digital content and improve performance."
The new devices will have the Fire OS 3.0 "Mojito" system.
The Kindle Fire HDX tablets also include an improved display that goes "beyond HD with exceptional pixel density" and a new processor that provides "three times the processing power" of the current version of Kindles.
The news came just two days after Microsoft announced upgrades to its Surface tablets, which have failed to gain traction as a device marketed as a substitute for both a tablet and a laptop computer.
Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe said the Kindle's tech support feature could be a selling point.
"Kudos to Amazon for creating this unique support service for its Kindle Fire tablets," Howe wrote in a blog post.
"Tablets are now mature enough that they are reaching consumers who aren't technology-savvy early adopters, and those consumers need more help than previous Kindle buyers.
Amazon's new Mayday service will encourage those consumers to love their new Kindle Fires and buy more Amazon content."
The smaller tablet will start at $229, with pre-orders starting Wednesday for shipping October 18. The larger Kindle Fire HDX starts at $379, and will begin shipping on November 7.