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Amazon Kindle Fire could break tablet sales records

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Mark Lennihan/AP

(Read caption) The Kindle Fire arrives next week.

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It’s been a big week for the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s $199 7-inch tablet aimed at bookworms and streaming-media enthusiasts alike. Of course, it doesn't actually come out until next week, but in the meantime, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet has appeared on the horizon as a major competitor. But there are a lot of reasons why Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is probably grinning in anticipation right now. Let’s count the reasons why:

First, there are solid pre-release indicators that the Fire could entice lots of buyers away from Apple’s much more powerful but also much more expensive iPad 2. A recent survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by consumer electronics site Retrevo showed that of shoppers interested in buying a tablet for the holidays, 44 percent were considering a Fire instead of an iPad 2.

Amazon’s own sales data paints a rosy picture, too: back in October, just as the Fire was made available for pre-order, MSNBC reported that Amazon was selling more than 50,000 of the tablets per day – more than either the iPad or the iPad 2 sold over the same pre-sale period. And as the Fire’s November 15 release date nears, Amazon has apparently upped the number of units to be produced from 4 million to 5 million, according to Digitimes.

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