The $79 Kindle is here

E-books have exploded over the last two years, but you’ve seen nothing yet. This Christmas season will be crazy.

Amazon just announced a Kindle that will sell for $79. Wow.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the company is releasing a $199 tablet computer called the Kindle Fire on Nov. 15, challenging Apple’s iPad by extending its Kindle brand into the world of full-color, multipurpose devices.

The Kindle Fire is about half the size of the iPad, making it a close match with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color tablet, which came out last year. But while Barnes & Noble sees the Nook Color as jazzed-up e-reader, Amazon has broader goals for the Fire, as a platform for games, movies, music and other applications.

Bezos also showed off three new black-and-white Kindle models, including its cheapest one ever, at $79. A touch screen model will cost $99, and one with cellular network access will cost $149.

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