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SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Amazon is updating its Kindle Fire tablet computer as it steps up competition with Apple's iPad.

It will cost $159, down from $199 for the old model. It will start shipping Sept. 14.

Amazon also refreshed its line of stand-alone e-readers.

The Fire is an effort to take a larger share of a tablet computer market dominated by Apple's iPad. It could help Amazon.com Inc. boost sales of digital goods such as e-books and movies.

The announcement was made at a former airplane hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

Amazon has pursued the strategy of selling lower-priced tablets at razor-thin, if any, profit margins in order to boost sales of digital items from its online store. The Kindle Fire has a smaller screen than the iPad.

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