It's a lost leader Beat. Amazon make a loss on their hardware - it is the stuff they sell you to use on it that makes them the money. The paperwhite only sells books. The Fire sells apps, music, films, tv shows etc. It generates more therefore it makes sense to discount it the most. Plus they want to generate a decent share of the tablet market for maximum media exposure.
Thanks for replies. Yes I saw that too Needabreak so I cancelled the Paperwhite order and have bought the Fire instead. I am thorougly about the whole thing - how something that does more costs less - but I know she'll have fun with it. Thanks too Angel. I do suspect that angry birds (whatever they are) will probably be a factor to consider.
Ah I remember the old days...want to read a book? Pick up a book. It was so simple back then
The Fire is not an e-reader, it is a tablet. I actually wish they hadn't used 'kindle' in the name because it's confusing. Think of the Fire as a cheap iPad. You can browse the internet on it, do email, play apps, play music. The paperwhite is just an e-reader. A phenomenally good one, but just an e-reader all the same. You can browse the 'net on it but it's rubbish and you probably wouldn't bother a second time.
You can read on the Fire, but because it is backlight it is not as nice an experience as the paperwhite. The paperwhite has the e-ink screen which looks just like a paper page and is very restful on the eyes.
I guess the important thing is to decide what your dcs would be using it for. If they want to play angry birds for instance then the paperwhite isn't going to be any good.