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Amazon To Get Down and Dirty With $50 6-Inch Tablet

Amazon hopes to build its tablet share with a new round of tablets that will include a $50 model that’s half the price of the company’s current lowest priced model, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The $50 tablet will join a wide selection of less-than-$99 tablets offered by a variety of lesser-known brands.

In the second quarter, Amazon held less than a 1 percent share of the U.S. tablet market, said research company IDC, which excludes 6-inch tablets from its statistics.

Amazon’s $50 tablet will feature a 6-inch screen, as does the current Fire HD 6 6-inch 8GB tablet priced at $99 with screen-saver adds, or $114 without. The current HD6 features HD 1280 by 800 display with 252 PPI, mono speaker, quad-core processor (2×1.5GHz plus 2×1.2GHz), 2-megapixel main camera with 1080p video capture and HDR, and VGA front camera.

It wasn’t certain whether pricing on the $50 model will include screen-saver ads.

Amazon also offers the 7-inch Fire HD 7, starting at $139 for the 8GB model with screen-saver ads. Both current 6- and 7-inch models are also available in 16GB versions. The current 8.9-inch HDX 8.9 starts at $399 for a 16GB Wi-Fi model with ads and goes higher for models with 32GB and 64 GB and with 4G LTE.

The $50 device will among multiple tablets that Amazon will launch later this year, including models with 8-inch and 10-inch screens, exceeding the size of the current 8.9-inch model.

To hit a lower price point, Amazon reportedly outsourced much of the development to overseas companies such as Shanghai Huaqin Telecom Technology and Taiwan’s Compal Communications. Amazon’s products are usually developed in-house by the company’s Lab126 unit, the Journal reported.

The company has traditionally launched new tablets for the fourth quarter.