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Amazon's Thursday unveiling of its new Kindle Fire HD Wi-Fi and 4G LTE tablets, as well as new versions of the Kindle e-reader, went far beyond the introduction of new hardware and instead focused as much time on new services to go with the devices.
Those services -- which include new self-publishing capabilities, the ability to get more information about a character in a book or an actor in a movie with a touch of the screen and enhanced time limiters for children -- are key to the philosophy of Amazon, said CEO Jeff Bezos.
Bezos, speaking live at the Santa Monica, Calif., airport to a crowd of press and analysts, said that there were a couple dozen different tablet PCs introduced to the market in the last year, but few were purchased.
[Related: Amazon Unveils Kindle Fire HD To Rival iPad]
"Nobody bought them," Bezos said. "Why? Because they were gadgets. And nobody wants gadgets. They want services."
The Kindle Fire from day one was designed to be a service that knows its users by name and quickly and easily provides the content users need, Bezos said.
"A hardware device as a service," he said. "That's what everybody wants. ... Hardware is a critical part of the service. Absolutely essential."
To prove his point, Bezos spent much of his time demonstrating some of the new online services and user-friendly features Amazon is introducing to go along with the new mobile devices.
However, it was the devices themselves that drew the most attention.
Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire HD tablet, commonly referred to prior to the launch as the Kindle Fire 2. The Kindle Fire HD features a high-definition 1,900-by-1,200 display, a wide viewing angle and a 25-percent reduction in glare over previous models. The glare reduction stems from the lamination of the touch panel directly on the display to eliminate the air gap. It includes an HDMI port for connecting to larger displays.
The Kindle Fire HD also features the Texas OMAP4470 processor with 50-percent more IOPS and 40-percent more bandwidth than the Tegra 3 processor commonly used in other tablet PCs. It also includes both 2.4-GHz and 5.0-GHz Wi-Fi with dual antennas.