Amazon rolls out $49.99 'mass market' tablet, new Fire TV

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An Amazon Tablet Almost Anyone Can Afford

Amazon.com Inc introduced on Thursday a $49.99 tablet, a price tag analysts said was low enough to set it apart in a crowded market and draw more customers to its online services.

The new Fire tablet, one of several new and upgraded devices launched by Amazon, comes with a screen that measures 7 inches (17 cm) diagonally and a front-and-back camera. It will start shipping on Sept. 30.

See more of the device in the gallery below:

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Amazon rolls out $49.99 'mass market' tablet, new Fire TV
Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet computers in a variety of colors are displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire 7" tablet computer is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition set, which contains the Fire TV device and Game Controller, is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire 7" tablet computer six-pack, in which you pay for five tablets and the sixth is free, is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet computers in a variety of colors are displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet computer is demonstrated for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the companys stock tumbling. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet computers in a variety of colors are displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Amazon Kids Fire Edition tablet computers are displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet computer is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet computer is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet computer is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
The Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet computer is displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Amazon's new Fire TV unit and Alexa enabled remote control are displayed for a photograph in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. Amazon.com Inc. is narrowing its hardware ambitions to low-cost gadgets such as tablet computers and smart TV plug-ins, one year after its Fire smartphone flopped and sent the company's stock tumbling. (Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, photo, a video is played on Amazon's new $50 Fire tablet, on display in San Francisco. Amazon.com is introducing the $50 tablet computer in its latest attempt to boost its online store sales by luring consumers who can't afford more expensive Internet-connected devices made by Apple and other rivals. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, photo, Amazon's new $50 Fire tablet is displayed in San Francisco. Amazon.com is introducing the $50 tablet computer in its latest attempt to boost its online store sales by luring consumers who can't afford more expensive Internet-connected devices made by Apple and other rivals. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
In this Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, photo, Amazon's new $50 Fire tablet sits on display along with assorted colored cases, background, in San Francisco. Amazon.com is introducing the $50 tablet computer in its latest attempt to boost its online store sales by luring consumers who can't afford more expensive Internet-connected devices made by Apple and other rivals. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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"There's one part of the tablet (market) that's growing right now and....that's sub $100 tablets," said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon devices, adding that the company's $99 Fire HD was its best selling tablet last year.

Analysts said there are few comparable tablets that cost as little as the new Fire. The device comes with a quad core processor and 12 gigabyte storage.

"The lesson we learned from consumer electronics is that when the market matures consumers go cheaper...If you're Amazon and you know this is going to happen you might as well join in," said James McQuivey, principal analyst at Forrester.

He called the $50 tablet a "gateway drug" for Amazon to attract new customers to Prime, a $99-a year shopping program estimated to have around 40 million global members.

The potential to draw more customers may appease investors but could prove costly if Amazon fails to sell large volumes, analysts said.

Amazon took a $170 million write down in the third quarter last year after it struggled to sell its inventory of $200 Fire smartphones. Amazon has said it does not plan to profit from devices but to drive more customers to services through the gadgets.

Amazon on Thursday also rolled out a line of new, 8-inch and 10-inch Fire HD tablets and revamped Fire TV gadgets.

The $99.99 Fire TV set-top box integrates its cloud-based virtual assistant Alexa, allowing viewers to check the weather, look up sports scores and play music.

Amazon said viewers will soon be able to control home appliances through Fire TV, a function available on Echo, the company's personal aide gadget that can control thermostats and lights.

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