Not content with just offering exciting new hardware, Amazon today is jumping into a new territory: data plans.

For $50 a year, owners of the Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE get 250MB of data per month along with 20GB of cloud storage. (Amazon is even tossing in a $10 Amazon app store giftcard.)

During the event, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stressed that with the data plan, the Kindle Fire HD is $410 cheaper than the 32GB iPad during the first year. Those numbers are hard to argue with.

“We decided that the only thing that could justify that price [of our new tablet] would be the ultimate tablet feature.” Bezos said, referring to the data plan.

While a monthly 250MB isn’t too much data, Amazon’s plan is a vastly better deal than what the wireless carriers offer. Surprisingly, though the service likely comes via AT&T, it’s a much cheaper than AT&T’s 250MB DataConnect plan, which runs for $180 year. Verizon’s 300MB Share Everything plan is also a more pricey $40 per month.

Good deal or not, Amazon’s data plan won’t be ideal for video streaming, as 250MB would last the average video watcher all of five minutes. Instead, the data is best suited to light email reading and web browsing, which, honestly doesn’t befit a high-definition media tablet all too well. (And just think of the overage charges.)

Photo: Engadget