Amazon's just-announced Kindle Fire HD LTE, which sells for $499 and begins shipping on November 20, has a killer feature that has nothing to do with its hardware or software. For $49.99 per year, Amazon is offering a data plan that gives users 250MB of data per month, 20GB of Amazon cloud storage (which normally costs $10 per year), and a $10 Amazon app store credit.
Based on the fact that the logo Amazon is using is provided by AT&T, the service compares very favorably to the data plans for the iPad and other tablets: AT&T's normal plan gives you 250MB of data for $14.99 a month, with an additional $14.99 overage charge for each additional 250MB. 3GB plans ($30 a month) and 5GB plans ($50 a month) also exist, but the Amazon plan is a much better value for users who only need a little bit of data each month. An Amazon representative told Ars that overage charges would be AT&T's standard $14.99 for 250MB.
Amazon appears to be absorbing some of the cost of this bandwidth with the cost of the tablet itself: the 4G LTE version costs $200 more than the WiFi version, while adding cellular support to an iPad costs $130. Still, the price of the Kindle Fire HD LTE is lower than that of the $729.00 32GB iPad and the $629.00 16GB iPad, making it an excellent value provided the software is up to snuff. We'll know more about that when we get some tablets in to review.