We were happy enough with the new Kindle e-readers and the trio of new Kindle Fire tablets Amazon boss Jeff Bezos announced in Santa Monica tonight, but in true “one more thing” style, there was a pretty big surprise just when we thought the event was drawing to a close.
Amazon has announced another new tablet, the Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE, which will go for $499 up front plus a $49.99 data plan fee... per year.
Yes, that's right – in the land of ridiculously expensive mobile contracts, Amazon has stepped in and offered a plan that costs for a whole year what some deals cost every month.
Signing up gets you 250MB of data per month, 20GB of cloud storage, plus a $10 Amazon gift voucher, on top of a 32GB 8.9in Kindle Fire HD tablet, which aside from the 4G radio and larger storage quota is the same as the non-4G model announced yesterday.
That means a total cost of ownership for year one of just $549, which Bezos pointed out isn't far short of half the $959 you'll pay for the closest equivalent iPad 3 deal.
Amazon's new high-end tablet contender will go on sale in the US in just two weeks' time, but with the UK's 4G infrastructure only now starting to get off the ground, not to mention Amazon's poor track record in launching its gadgets internationally, we wouldn't hold our breath waiting for this one.