New models of the Kindle Fire tablet have been announced by Amazon – all of which, the company claims, will cost less to buy than an Apple iPad, owing to a partial subsidy through advertising revenue.

The three new models – which comprise two larger versions of the Kindle Fire HD, together with an upgraded version of the first Kindle Fire model – are said by Amazon to range between £129 and £159.

By contrast, the iPad2 cannot usually be purchased for less than £329 – while the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and the Google Nexus 7 are also more expensive – each currently retailing at £199.

Amazon says that the advertising element will consist of a series of promotions from, among others, Intel, AT&T, and Discover – all of which will run in the corner of the main menu screen, and will also appear when the screen is locked.

Amazon is also looking to secure additional revenue from the purchase of apps via its app store. Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said:

“We want to make money when people use our devices rather than when they buy our devices.”

Meanwhile, there have been rumours that Amazon wishes to consolidate its activities in the mobile sphere by launching its own smartphone – and is already working on the development of such a device.

Some commentators believe such a move would be a logical step, in that it would help Amazon derive greater future leverage from the mobile sector than might be possible by relying solely on yearly tablet upgrades.