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Amazon's Launch, Apple on Deck: Tech Weekly Recap

NEW YORK ( TheStreet -- Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) briefly took the tech spotlight off Apple (AAPL - Get Report) this week, unveiling new Kindle e-reader and Kindle Fire tablet products at a glitzy event in Santa Monica, Calif.

As anticipated, Amazon launched a larger-screen version of the Kindle Fire on Thursday. Whereas the previous Kindle Fire offered a 7-inch display, the large-screen Kindle Fire HD comes with an 8.9-inch display. The device, which is available in both Wi-Fi-only and 4G LTE versions, comes with 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of on-device storage.

A 7-inch Wi-Fi version of the Kindle Fire HD also made its debut, offering 16 GB or 32 GB of storage.

Keen to put a dent into Apple's dominance in the tablet market, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that his company "wants to make the best tablet at any price," during the launch event.

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The Amazon chief also reiterated his desire to drive dollars through services delivered via gadgets such as the Kindle Fire HD. ""People don't want gadgets, they want services," he said, during his presentation. "They want services that get better over time. Kindle Fire is a service."

While Amazon vastly improved its tablet and e-reader offerings this week, TheStreet's Chris Ciaccia was skeptical about the company's ability to seriously challenge Apple, particularly in the high-end tablet space.

Amazon shares ended the week up 5.45% at $259.14.

As always though, Apple grabbed its share of headlines, sending out invites to a major press event taking place in San Francisco next week.

The event is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 12, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco. TheStreet will be in attendance and plans to live-blog all the speeches and product introductions.

True to form, Apple gave little away about the event on the company's invite, which declares "it's almost here" and the number "12" on a plain white background. Intriguingly, however, the 12 casts a shadow that resembles the number 5.

Rumors about the event have swirled for months. Speculation, in particular, has focused on the potential features of a new iPhone 5, which could include 4G LTE capabilities and a larger screen than the existing model. There has also been chatter that Apple may unveil a smaller version of the iPad, dubbed an iPad Mini, around the time of its iPhone launch.

In other Apple-related news, a rumor about the tech giant's entry into the music streaming space hammered shares of Pandora Media (P) on Friday.

Apple shares ended the week down 2.61% at $680.44.
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