Kindle Fire update to address performance and privacy issues

By on December 12, 2011, 5:30 PM

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet launched to much fanfare this past November, poised to steal some thunder from  Apple's popular iPad 2 with a tempting $199 price tag. The device went on to become a best-seller among Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers at Amazon.com as well as Best Buy and Target stores.

As the excitement over the Kindle Fire begins to wane, Amazon is now moving to address some of the criticism surrounding its tablet with an upcoming software update. Specifically, the company said the update should improve overall performance and multitouch navigation, while also adding a feature that will allow users to delete their browsing history -- something that will by welcomed by those concerned about privacy.

The update will be made available to users over the air in less than two weeks, according to Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener. It's unclear if other common complaints, such as occasional lockups that require a hard reset as well as insufficient volume for movies and Wi-Fi issues will be addressed as well.

Not all issues can be fixed by software, though. The Kindle Fire has been criticized for its lack of physical volume buttons and an awkwardly placed power button that makes easy to turn the device off inadvertently.

Amazon sees the Kindle line of devices as critical for its future strategy and thinks about them in terms of its lifetime value. This is why the company is willing to lose money on the sale of each device, making up for the loss with market share, and the sale of accessories, content, advertising and special offers.

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