US etail giant Amazon has launched its own tablet the Kindle Fire, which it hopes will pose the biggest threat yet to Apple’s iPad.

The device is less than half the price of the iPad at £128, and experts say this could be the most important factor in determining its performance against the hugely popular Apple device.

The Kindle Fire will be available in the US from November 15 although there is no date yet for a UK release. Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: “What we’re doing is making premium products and offering them at non-premium prices.”

The product will allow users to download books, magazines, videos and music, and is expected to spark a price war in the tablet market as other manufacturers are forced to respond to its low cost.