As expected, the screen is likely the most costly component on the Kindle, with TechInsights estimating the 7" 1280 x 800 LCD display costs Amazon $35per unit. In addition, the touchscreen probably costs an additional $15 per unit, while the battery (probably a 4800 mAh) is expected to cost $9.
At first glance, the camera on the new Kindle Fire is probably 2MP, said TechInsights, which would have set Amazon back $4 per unit, while the 16GB Nand flash would cost approximately $9 per tablet.
All of the new Amazon lineup features MIMO technology, with its dual-bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), which supposedly makes the device some 41 percent more efficient at WiFi connectivity. This Wi-Fi/BT/GPS combo is thought to be MIMO 802.11 a/b/g/n Bluetooth, which also costs in the region of $4 a unit, the same as the 1GB of SDRAM also found in the tablet.
If it turns out that it is indeed TI’s OMAP 4460 in the 7” Kindle Fire, TechInsights believes that to be the second most costly item on the BOM list, coming in at a cool $21.
Non electronic components in the Kindle are expected to total up to $14, with miscellaneous other components coming to $30 and $3 in supporting materials.
Meanwhile, the larger 8.9” 1920 x 1200 high-resolution display which takes on Apple’s iPad, but retails for just $299, has a predicted BOM of $179.
The bigger screen costs an estimated $45, with an extra $20 for the touchscreen, $12 for the bigger (probably) 6100 mAh battery, and $28 if TechInsights is correct in its prediction of TI’s OMAP 4470 as the processor. The 4470 is a dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor that can be clocked up to 1.8 GHz, for a serious power push.
The LTE version of the same tablet, which retails at $499, the firm’s most expensive offering, has an estimated BOM of $218, with the connectivity component supposedly costing $27 and probably hailing from Qualcomm. The tablet also includes dual speakers, a front-facing HD camera, HDMI out capability and a data plan that gives consumers 32GB of cloud storage and 250MB of data per month from AT&T for just $50 a year.
“Such an offering is unprecedented by any network carrier and it remains to be seen what effect this has on other manufacturers and the agreements they make with cellular providers in the USA,” said Yogasingam.
I’d have to agree, and indeed, I’ll go a step further and say Amazon is the one to watch in the upcoming tablet wars. By freeing itself from having to monetize only the hardware, the firm has given itself a large degree of freedom not just to innovate, but to delight users with content experiences. And after all, what else is a tablet really for?
To see TechInsight's more detailed analysis and pretty spreadsheet, click here.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.