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Amazon Changing the Game With 4G LTE Powered Kindle Fire HD and Its $50 Per Year Data Package

Amazon put on quite the show today in California, announcing multiple Kindle devices, one of which may change the game. The 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD with 32GB of storage and 4G LTE at $499 is something we need to talk about for a minute. And we need to talk about it because of this ridiculously cheap data package that Amazon is willing to sell to those that buy the device. 

For $50 per year (not month, year), owners of the 4G LTE Kindle Fire HD can use up to 250MB of data each month. They have partnered with AT&T for the LTE connection, but since the device has a 10-band modem inside, you can fall back to the fastest 3G connection available should you leave to an area that doesn’t have LTE. If you need more data than that, then you can go directly to AT&T and buy bigger 3GB ($30) and 5GB ($50) plans at whatever price AT&T charges these days.

Along with this affordable data plan, owners of the Fire HD will also get 20GB of Amazon Cloud storage and a $10 Appstore credit.

Amazon is willing to point out that this will save users over $400 per year when compared to those that own a similarly priced iPad with an LTE data package.

Is anyone else’s mind blown like mine is? We are talking dirt cheap data in a time when carriers want to clean out your wallet for even a minimal amount of data. Verizon and AT&T are pushing shared data plans because they understand that data is a goldmine, yet here we are with Amazon, practically giving it away.

  • Gio

    One huge oversight. Alot of apps now and days request internet permissions. Lots of background data, even notifications. Its more like 250mb a week.

  • Who is using < 250MB/month on LTE? 250MB is < 5 minutes of data at LTE speeds.

  • heh

    it only seems like a deal because the carriers raping us ouch my bum

  • Curtis

    The way its worded on Amazon.com it sounds like this is just a one year promotion. I did not watch their unveiling, did they say whether or not this was a yearly deal? Meaning $50 a year every year.

  • TrevorSP

    You could literally go over your data limit in a few minutes

  • lye

    Will I be able to tether it?

  • Dirt cheap data isn’t valuable when you receive a proportional amount of data in return! 250mb is only enough to check emails with. I’d be amazed when you pay $50 and he a 2gb monthly allowance. Or maybe the you pay $10 a month and get unlimited data. Then I’ll be amazed.

  • Trevor

    Just goes to show you how much $$$ carriers make from those of us with data plans. Oh yeah, but their tiered data is what’s best for the customer.

  • kgballa

    Ill pay the 120$ for a verizon lte tablet a year to share my 8 gigs.. cell phone is on wifi at home and tablet has 8 gigs to play with… amazon try again

  • Tyler Chappell

    The price jumps for the 4G LTE variants are absurd. On the 16GB model, you end up paying $200 more just for being able to use LTE, and on the 32GB model its $230, or $30 more to add the exact same functionality? How does that make any sense whatsoever, especially when for the ipads, the 3G/4G connectivity only adds $130 to the base price (no matter what the storage size), which is a bit much to begin with too.
    Nonetheless, I think they have made several smart moves today and am certain the new Fires will be a mind-blowing success this holiday season.

  • Booyah

    Nexus 7 + LTE GNex fit my needs just fine. My N7 is used around the house, and if I bring it out and about, I’m usually reading which I can download onto the tablet itself. The GNex satisfies all my needs when I’m somewhere with no Wi-Fi.

    Also, if you’re only offering 250MB a month, why have 4G at all? You’ll eat that up in a heartbeat. For that amount, I would think 3G would suffice.

    • Tyler Chappell

      The whole 250MB is really absurd when during their presentation today they were talking about movies etc that were all several hundred MB more than that in size. “Here, enjoy our brand new 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD where you can download amazing movies at like 1.47GB, oh but we are only going to let you use 250MB a month with 4G…so you won’t be downloading any movies on 4G so I hope you have wifi or live close enough to a wifi hotspot!”
      Which is funny when you consider that the Kindle Fire line appeals to less tech savvy of people that may not even have their own wifi router at home lol

  • This is a great deal. It raises the bar a bit. Its a “why not” addition to the features. Win win if you ask me.

  • Scott

    I’ll be hated for this, but at $499 I’ll spend a touch more and get an iPad. There are some magazine subscriptions and the iPad just seems to be a better option for that. Not to mention there a few apps that will never be carried on Android that I want. I’ll stick with Android with my phones.

  • fauxshizzl

    So when you rent a movie from Amazon I assume it doesn’t download to the device. So for example would I need to be connected to a network to watch a rented movie, or is there a way to have cached or something by downloading it on WiFi to watch on the go later?

  • William Peterson

    Please tell me someone is working on a 4 Etch-a-sketch! That I’ll throw my money at!!

  • Is the $10 gift card a one time deal or do you get one yearly?

  • harsh

    This explains well …

  • sr_erick

    I cannot understand the sheer ignorance of some people here. The 4G isn’t meant to be the primary data connection in this situation, but rather a value added piece, something you use when you’re going between places if you need maps access or email access, etc. I’d gladly pay $50 a year if I had this option on my Nexus 7. It would mean I’m always connected when it’s critical, but at an extremely reasonable price. No, I’m not streaming movies in the car, but at least I can get my email. For more data intensive purposes I’ll take the time to tether to my phone or find WiFi.

    • With my Nexus 7, I am always connected. I don’t need to pay 50 dollars a year when I can pull out my 4g phone and tether it, which is precisely what I do when I’m not around wifi. Perhaps it’s a big deal for grandma, but not for the readers of this site. It’s not ignorance… it’s just not value add when we all already have 4g phones.

  • malcmilli

    So instead of 3GB a month for 50 bucks they give you 3GB a year for 50 bucks… A new way of doing things but not really that big of a deal. better off just tethering from your phone.

    • The funny thing is, you can’t even fill up the 20Gb cloud storage after a year using the data plan alone.

      • malcmilli

        lol yeah, i mean its better than nothing, if the LTE tablet was the same price as the wifi only version, and you just had to pay the $50 a year for service. Then it wouldnt be bad at all, but if its going to cost more out the box then that’s kinda annoying..

  • I would not pay $50 a year for 250 MB a month. I don’t care what kind of user you are, that data will be gone in days and here come the overages. I had training for a new job this past weekend and was given a Galaxy Tab 8.9 with 250 MB, and used 100 MB just logging in to our work portal for two days.

  • jonny6pak

    I don’t get the criticism. I would call this WiFi Plus. The goal seems to surround the provision of network access in-between WiFi APs. I would love it if I could use my tablet for non-bandwith intensive things when I can’t tether or reach an AP. At $4 a month, it’s a pretty good deal. To many people seem to be looking at this as a gimped non-stop data connection one might have with a phone–this is just a bridge to make sure connectivity is always available in some form. It’s not a means to watch Netflix in HD over a cell connection.

  • Rick King

    Working at Best Buy in Kentucky, I find news about Kindles completely useless. No one here is literate. Shoot dang, even right now I’m using voice-to-text, and heaven only knows if it’s working correctly. Let me know when Amazon releases a 4G LTE double-wide, or pickup truck.

  • Anakin Solo

    Why is this a good deal? 3GBs for $50? seriously? I can blow through this on my way to work one day. I think I will keep my Unlimited Data. Data is the biggest rape going on today. You promote a device based on what it can do with data and then say “now don’t use too much”. Use that money to beef up your network and keep unlimited data.

  • Dan-O

    I use 250mb while I take a crap. Its just a way to get you to buy a bigger data plan via AT&T.

    • Rick King

      I would beg to differ. After having worked for AT&T, I can confidently say that they’re out to help and serve customers. They’re probably the best company in business today. If you go over the 250mb, they’ll probably just give you some free datas to use.

      • Anakin Solo


    • Dills

      You should have wifi if you are taking a crap. The 250 is meant for small usefull moments while outside of wifi. I do agree AT&T will make out on this, cause this thing is going to sell like hot cakes to the non tech world.

  • step in the right direction, but it really should be closer to 1 gig a month. why have a LTE device if you can’t use it. but the concept is good and if you really never use data too often but for email and small web usage this is an amazing deal. this is something my parents would be very interested in.

  • The device itself is $200 more than the Wifi version. Assuming you held on to the tablet for 2 years, that becomes about $8 per month. (50/12) + (200/24) = $12.5. AT&T is currently charging $14.99 per month for 250Mb for a tablet. That’s a saving of $2.49 per month and roughly $60 for 2 years. It does save you some money, but it’s not a HUGE saving.

    • Rick King

      That’s way too much math. Please stop. It’s hurting my brain.

    • long term cost calculations. there needs to more stuff on this

    • kyle

      thats not a fair comparison – All 3g or 4g tablets cost more than the wifi only versions. You have to compare it to alternative 3g/4g tablets not to wifi tablets.

    • arthur2142

      Not to mention, for those that have been suckered into Share Everything plans, Verizon and AT&T only charge an extra $10/month to connect your 3G/4G enabled tablets, giving you access to presumably much more than 250Mb/month.

    • michael arazan

      But 2 hour movies are gonna run over 250 mb especially in hd on 4g, because the people getting the data plans more than likely don’t have wifi at home.

  • 250 MB per month. No, thanks.

  • 250MB per month? BWAHAHAHAA. FAIL.

  • delerivm

    This piqued my interest until I saw the 250MB/month part. You can’t do enough with that little of a data cap for it to tempt me away from better wi-fi only tablets like the Nexus.

    • Tristan Cunha

      I wonder if they kept ICS’s great data management tool in their OS? Is so, that would make it a lot easier to manage the 250mb a month.

    • You can obtain connectivity in more places than your current wifi-only tablets for only $50/month. If you were to get one and maintain your current habit of using wifi for the tablet while taking advantage of the added benefit of being able to use data from time to time while not near wifi… for only $50/yr… how’s that not a win? Think of the 250MB as a supplement to wifi, only to be used when you really need connectivity but can’t get wifi. I know the deal is a win to many.

      Disclaimer: With that said, no way I’d purchase an Amazon tablet

    • delerivm

      I appreciate that they’re offering it…. it’s a good deal for a lot of people. I’m just not interested in it personally since I’m a heavy data user already and would be afraid to do anything other than download Kindle books with only 250MB cap. And for users who will only use it for Kindle books…. they could make the argument that the previous 3G Kindle’s had no monthly fee at all.

    • CopierITGuy

      The thing that tickles my fancy is that they are offering any amount data for DIRT CHEAP. What happened when Amazon released the incredibly successful (with limited functionality) Kindle Fire for DIRT CHEAP? They sold millions and FORCED the market to make cheaper tablets. The result was perhaps the best Android device release to date – The N7.

      My thinking is that this move will force carriers to quit hoarding data at these ridiculous “sharing” prices and come down on price to compete with where Amazon is driving the market. This sounds like the first step in the market demanding better pricing from the big carriers.

      And that, my friends, is a win for all of us!

  • Bauce40

    You can’t do much with 250MB per month, it’s basically like a tease, AT&T loves it cause everyone will go over the 250 and constantly have to pay overages or upgrade to a larger plan

    • paul_cus

      Agree. AT&T is going to love this.

  • IcerC

    250MB for ~$4 a month is amazing. What are you talking about?! Use wifi to preload and lte to get email, check twitter, facebook etc.

    • EXACTLY this internet is not ment to be used as your be all data hot spot its to bridge the gab between wifi spots and tethering options people will complain about everything thou

      • K. Nelson

        You do realize it’s the “same” internet you’re connecting to regardless of whether you are connecting via your cell phone’s wireless or your own home Wifi, right?

    • See this is what I’m thinking. While you are out and about, you can jump into a browser for a minute, check email, download a new book, etc. They didn’t mean for 250MB to be used to stream video. It’s a hell of a deal.

      • EC8CH

        For me the tablet is more for around the house and my phone is for when I’m out and about. For sure Amazon is changing the game with this pricing, but wifi only tablets are still the big dog.

        Any one know what percentage of tablets sold have 3g/4g and what are wifi only?

        • itznfb

          3g/4g has to be extremely low considering there aren’t really any 3g/4g tablets available. The choices are pitifully small.

          • moelsen8

            and the ones that were available were like $800 subsidized with the added bonus of a 2-year contract.

        • JasonIvers

          If I want to use my tablet while out and about, I’ll hook it up to my phone’s hotspot (included in Verizon shared data plans)… I don’t need to spend an extra $200. I’d rather spend that on more data, if anything.

      • nessthiss

        Then why give a damn if it has LTE or not? I realize that you have the option to get a higher data plan if you choose to, I’m just saying that let’s not pretend like this is some sort of gift from the techno-gods

      • Rich Howe

        $50 for 3 GB is a good deal???

    • That was well said.

    • Raven

      For us tech junkies this may not be enough, but for someone like my mom it would be perfect. She currently pays $30 a month to do nothing more than check her
      email on her ancient Windows PC over a DIAL UP MODEM a couple of times a
      week. At a price of $50 a year for 4G LTE (only 3G in her area for now) it would be much cheaper and
      the tablet would blow away her old PC in usefulness. I think I know what I am buying her for Christmas.

      • “For us tech junkies this may not be enough”

        Not really if you think about it. Tablets, like laptops, are not designed to have a standalone always on network connection like phones do. With tablets you connect to a hotspot and up/download any info, updates, etc. Where data plans come in handy is when your out on the road and need short term access to maps, email and that sort of thing. This does not include any strictly corporate and military designed tablets that where built with that constant connection always on.

        I think 99% of people who purchase this tablet will use it mostly at home over wifi connectivity. With data used for quick facebook,email/map check, song or book download etc. Now the percentage of will probably shrink w/ the higher end tablet because of extra power the have. And I think you did hit the nail on the head with this years Christmas gift. :]

    • kgballa

      Use your phone for wifi at home and tablet for data on the road an extra 6 bucks for 2-10 gigs is worth it

  • Rick King

    Until they bring 4g LTE to my Etch-A-Sketch, I’m not wasting another dollar on a useless tablet. This doesn’t even have an app store. Just a ridiculous “shake to erase” feature. Give me a break!

  • nessthiss

    $50 for 3 GB of data, split up over 12 months? Wow, what a steal *rollseyes*

    • IcerC

      You are forgetting 20GB cloud and $10 appstore credit..

      • JB

        But if you can only access 1% of that cloud per month, what’s the use?

    • K. Nelson

      I am pretty sure the 3GB data plan from AT&T is their standard $30 a month plan. It will not be an additional $30 a year.

  • You know there’s something wrong with the wireless industry when the ones doing the most innovation are companies outside of the industry.

  • RadicalPie

    Might seem like a dumb question but can you put this on Verizon?

  • Rick King

    Until I get 4g LTE on my Etch-a-sketch, I’m not wasting another dollar on a pointless tablet. The thing doesn’t even have an app-store. Just shake-to-erase. THAT’S IT!


    250MB of data a month is trash. I can burn through that just paying my bill on MyVerizon.

    • for 4$ dollars a month you can access data when not at a wifi spot thats not a bad deal your sarcasm is weak

      • SAMBO

        My sarcasm is fine, clearly your comprehension isn’t.

    • 250 MB is my few hours use, I use almost 1 GB everyday

      • zion

        Outside of Wifi? Come on really? This doesnt include Wifi. How often are you using a something like a Kindle Fire away from WiFi? Honestly just curious. That’s not really that common I wouldn’t think.

        • I’m always on 3G/4G. I use my phone to tether it to Nexus 7.

  • RedPandaAlex

    Not dissimilar to the 3G chromebook plans when they first came out. I always wondered why nobody else picked up that pricing model.

  • cancerous_it

    250MB is not that much data. you can easily blow through that in a week of surfing the internetz.

    • MikeCiggy

      butttttttt think about how often you can be on a hotspot

  • TG

    I would consider this device, if I had access to google play store. does it? i’m not paying attention

  • looks like verizon missed the train on this one #failbigred #karma

  • NexusMan

    Kudos to Amazon! I hope people defect and carriers are forced to drive prices back down!