Last week, Amazon’s charismatic CEO, Jeff Bezos, showed the world his company was more than just a one-trick tablet pony, unveiling a brand new lineup of Kindle Fire products aimed at the mass market.
Coming just a year after the shock launch of the first $199 Kindle Fire, the new Kindle tablet line comes in a range of flavors and price tags, giving consumers several options, establishing Amazon as a strong hardware player in the consumer electronics space.
Indeed, the company can now be considered the strongest competitor to both Apple and Google, having already exerted significant price pressure on the tablet market.
Google’s first foray into the tablet space – the Nexus 7 –launched at a base price of $199 to compete with Amazon’s original offering, only to find itself undercut yet again within just a couple of months. Google’s tablet also lacks much of the seamlessly integrated content, apps and subscription services that are part and parcel of Amazon’s offerings.
The Seattle retail giant’s most basic new Kindle Fire is still a rather stellar refresh of its predecessor, with a faster processor and double the amount of system RAM -- going from 512 GB in the first Kindle Fire, to 1 GB.
“That puts the Kindle Fire on par with other tablets in the field,” said Allan Yogasingam, technical research manager at UBM Techinsights.
Yogasingam added that he suspected that the processor in the new Kindle Fire is Texas Instruments’ OMAP 4460, the follow up to the OMAP4430, featured in the original Kindle Fire.
While the tech under the Kindle Fire’s hood may be souped up somewhat, it’s still the price that’s the big game changer for Amazon, with the new tablet sporting a rather sexy price of just $159.
“When the first Kindle Fire was released, its $199 price point was an industry disrupter. No other tablet manufacturer had even thought of creating a product at that price as Apple had established that consumers were willing to pay upwards of $499 US for a tablet,” said Yogasingam.
TechInsights is estimating that the bill-of-materials (BOM) for the lowest spec Kindle HD is about $148, just $11 under retail price, with Amazon again going for break-even in order to make money from content and application sales.
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