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Amazon eyes Apple with massive Kindle Fire expansion in over 170 countries

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Kindle Fire HD 8.9 hero (1024px)
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 hero (1024px)

Amazon has opened pre-orders for its Kindle Fire tablets in over 170 countries and expanded its Android Appstore in nearly 200 regions . It's the biggest device rollout the company has embarked on since it entered the tablet market, and sees it take on Apple in terms of availability and distribution. Before today, the Kindle Fire was available in only seven countries — including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan.

From 7 to over 170 countries

Amazon will widen the availability of the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9" on, but will also allow customers in Ireland and Gibraltar to order from its UK site, while orders from Austria and Luxembourg will be accepted via Amazon Germany. By opening its Android Appstore today, customers will be able to install apps and games on their new tablets when shipments begin on June 13th.

Selling its Kindle Fire models at low margins, Amazon's tablets have consistently topped the charts as its most popular product. Amazon is clearly looking to compete with Apple on price and availability, with a lock in to its broad ecosystem. Apple's iPad is available in over 50 countries, while Amazon's significant expansion could help it against Apple and Samsung's dominance of tablets.