Best Buy to Sell New $199 Kindle Fire Tablet

Best Buy will sell Amazon's Kindle Fire, a new tablet that will cost $199 and is expected to compete with Apple's popular iPad device.

Richfield-based Best Buy Company, Inc., on Wednesday announced that it will carry, Inc.'s new line of Kindle devices-including the Kindle Fire tablet, which has generated significant buzz since its Wednesday debut.

Best Buy said that it will offer the $79 Kindle, $99 Kindle Touch, $149 Kindle Touch 3G, and $199 Kindle Fire at all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores for the holiday season. All will be available for pre-order beginning Thursday.

“Tablets and e-readers have captivated consumers everywhere and we are thrilled to be able to offer the complete Kindle line to Best Buy customers,” CEO Brian Dunn said in a statement. “We think these Kindles are going to be some of the hottest gifts this year.”

A report by the Pioneer Press predicts which Minnesota stakeholders will benefit from the launch of the Kindle Fire, such as public libraries throughout the Twin Cities, as they ramp up e-book lending services.

It lists Maplewood-based 3M Company, however, as a potential loser. The St. Paul newspaper points out that 3M is developing its own e-book lending system.

While it appears Best Buy will benefit from the launch of the new product, the company is also competing with the device's maker. Best Buy recently expanded its online offerings by allowing select third-party sellers to offer items on its Web site-a move that could put it in a better position to compete with sites like that market numerous third-party products and allow shoppers to compare prices before they make their selection.

Best Buy announced plans earlier this year to reduce the size of its “big-box” stores. The company also said it planned to pursue additional growth in key consumer technology product areas-including tablets.

Best Buy is Minnesota's third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $49.7 billion for the fiscal year that ended in February 2010. The company reported $50.3 billion in revenue for its most recently completed fiscal year.