By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 22, 2012 12:49 PM EDT
Amazon is offering a $49 4G-for-a-year deal for its new Kindle Fire HD, but while the program stirred some consumer excitement, it also raised questions about what happens to the price once that year is over. Between reports, speculation and assumptions, definite answers on the deal have now surfaced.
Thanks to a ZDNet reader named Bruce, who contacted Amazon's customer service to learn the details straight from the source, the program is no longer shrouded in mystery.
"The $49.99 data package is only available for the first year of service," Amazon replied to Bruce, as reported by ZDNet. "The data plans after one year will change accordingly to the plans offered by the service provider AT&T. At this time, there are no special data plans offered by AT&T for Kindle Fire HD 8.9" after the first year. AT&T provides their own data plans and all this information has been updated in the AT&T website. For your convenience here's the link for the comparison of the plans provided by AT&T."
Bruce also asked Amazon if he is locked into AT&T, and learned that his Amazon.com account is not locked into the carrier. Meanwhile, though everyone assumed the Kindle Fire HD would be able to connect to mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, Bruce asked Amazon to confirm.
"Yes, you can do that, so long as your cell phone uses 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 2.4ghz frequency, you can use it as a hotspot and provide access for the Kindle," Amazon replied. "Kindle Fire supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that uses that frequency, or enterprise networks with support for WEP, WPA and WPA 2 security using password authentication. Kindle does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks."
The new Amazon Kindle Fire HD comes as the faster, lighter, thinner, more powerful successor to the original Fire. It comes in two versions: a 7-inch model set to challenge the Nexus 7, and an 8.9-inch version entering the iPad's territory.
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch is powered by a 1.5GHz OMAP4 4470 dual-core processor and is expected to have 1.5GB of RAM (the exact detail of the RAM capacity is still not clear at this point), while storage options go up to 64GB. The 8.9-inch display has a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution and 254 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
The tablet is scheduled to hit the market sometime in November, with a $299 price tag for the Wi-Fi 16GB version and $399 for the 32GB model. While AT&T currently has no special data plans set for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 after the first year of $49 4G deal, the costs are expected to remain within the same range.
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