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Technology

Amazon’s cheap new tablets: Buy five, get one free!

Amazon Fire

Amazon‘s new $50 Fire tablet is displayed in San Francisco.

(Eric Risberg / Associated Press)

Amazon has introduced a tablet computer for under $50 in a bid to entice consumers priced-out of the Apple iPad.

The new 7-inch Fire tablet released Thursday goes for $49.99, well below the cheapest version of the iPad, the iPad Mini 2, which costs $269.

It’s also cheaper than the Fire HD 6, Amazon’s most affordable tablet currently on the market at $99.99.

Amazon says its latest installment of the Fire tablet is two times more durable than the iPad, determined by so-called tumble tests.

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Amazon hopes to sell to households in bulk, offering six tablets for the price of five at $249.95.

The goal: tie consumers to Amazon’s ecosystem of streaming video and shopping services through Amazon Prime.

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“Our tablet focus is in and around content consumption,” said David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices, according to the Associated Press.

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The new tablet comes in time for the holiday season and shortly after Amazon reportedly laid off dozens of engineers who worked on the company’s first smartphone.

Released in July 2014, the Fire phone has all but disappeared -- it isn’t even being offered on Amazon’s website. The company took a $170-million hit from costs associated with it.

In addition to the new Fire tablet, Amazon also announced Thursday upgrades to its streaming hardware, Fire TV.

Follow @dhpierson for tech news.

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