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Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire

11/17/2011 01:01 AM EST
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_hm
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
_hm   11/17/2011 1:59:05 AM
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Little innovation from Amazon design team. I do not know how long will this lack luster deisgn will survive?

rogerrobie68
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
rogerrobie68   11/18/2011 7:47:57 PM
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Did you expect much more?

RTewell
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
RTewell   11/19/2011 9:01:09 PM
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Personally, I think its brilliant. Also, a healthy round of kudos to TI for a great design win.

yalanand
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
yalanand   12/5/2011 6:30:11 AM
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@hm, Amazon is not worried about innovation because it will sell the hardware at very less price, they might sell those tablet's in loss but it will make money by selling the content for those tablets.

askubel
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
askubel   11/17/2011 1:59:05 AM
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I haven't found any information on Ilitek's controller online. Any idea how it compares to the competition, and why Amazon chose it for the Fire?

Sanjib.A
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Sanjib.A   11/17/2011 3:29:26 PM
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If the BOM cost is ~$143, incluing the overheads, the manufacturing cost of this product could be any where between $160 to $180. Looks like Amazon is selling it at a very low profit margin, betting on the volume?

mcgrathdylan
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
mcgrathdylan   11/17/2011 3:52:26 PM
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I don't think Amazon's play here has anything to do with making money on the Kindle Fire tablet. It appears that the company has set things up so that it will break even on the sales, maybe make a couple of bucks. But the real motivation here is that Amazon saw what was happening with Apple and feared that as more people got their hands on iPads they would buy more books, music, apps, etc. from Apple. Amazon needed to get into customers' and potential customers' hands a device that would increase the chances that they would buy media directly from Amazon. You can say what you want about the design--I'm sure it's not as elegant as the iPad--but it's a brilliant move because the cost--less than half of an entry level iPad--will entice many a buyer and Amazon will at the very least put a speed bump in iPad's momentum.

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 8:35:21 AM
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EXACTLY! Except it's doubtful they're making anything at all selling Fires--in fact, it appears they LOSE about $4 on each tablet sold--more if they're sold at a B&M like Best Buy or Target.

Patk0317
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Patk0317   11/28/2011 10:23:36 PM
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I have an iPad and I buy most of my "books" from Amazon, not Apple.

rogerrobie68
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
rogerrobie68   11/18/2011 7:48:42 PM
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cheap,

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 8:32:54 AM
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iSuppli, who are usually more accurate, did a teardown of an actual Fire and placed BOM at ~$183, with a total cost to manufacture at ~$203, or about $4 OVER retail. Amazon's strategy is to be the Gillette of content and give away tablets to sell content. That's much is obvious, because you can't increase profits by selling more products you're losing money on.

Sanjib.A
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Sanjib.A   11/17/2011 4:07:46 PM
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Makes sense..thanks for the insight!

GREAT-Terry
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
GREAT-Terry   11/17/2011 5:04:50 PM
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But there is a Kindle apps for iPAD, I think people can still buy books from Amazon. I personally don't think this is a very nice idea to invest on developing another hardware that more or less is just a colorful ebook reader.

old account Frank Eory
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
old account Frank Eory   11/17/2011 5:40:05 PM
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I'm not sure why you say that. It's a low-cost Android tablet. Yes, customized to make it easy for users to buy ebooks from Amazon, but still a tablet -- not just an eReader. Personally, for reading books, I prefer the e-ink display of the regular Kindle. But I use a tablet for web browsing, email and general media consumption. For consumers who want just one device for all of that, they will want a tablet rather than a dedicated eReader. And for $199, the Fire is within reach of many more consumers than other tablets, especially the iPad.

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 8:39:00 AM
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Have you used one? It's not REALLY a tablet, so much as a content consumption device. It brings movies and (better supported) music to the Kindle environment. Its tablet functionality is severely limited. It's a Kindle, not really a tablet.

Patk0317
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Patk0317   11/28/2011 10:26:21 PM
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Kindle Fire appears to be much like the original iPad is a content consumption device. One of the key principles in the design of iPad 2 is that it be a content creation device as well. So you could say that the Fire is at least one gen behind Apple.

_jsw_
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_jsw_   11/18/2011 2:32:10 PM
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Another important consideration is that, as a Kindle, this qualifies for the new Lending Library. Frequent readers will easily recoup their investment if they use that feature, and it's not available to those using the free Kindle app. So... that $199 gets you a modestly powered but sufficient-for-many tablet that also has access to free books. I see it as being very appealing to a number of Amazon's customers.

t.alex
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
t.alex   11/20/2011 2:28:16 AM
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Ipad is too expensive, simply.

DrQuine
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
DrQuine   11/17/2011 5:37:27 PM
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I suspect Amazon is using the razor model of marketing. Sell the razor (Kindle) at cost and make money selling the proprietary replacement blades (apps, books, content) as an ongoing revenue source.

Christian Plante
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Christian Plante   11/17/2011 6:49:16 PM
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I played with mine last night. It's a very capable tablet for the price. The Amazon UI is fairly intuitive. I had my parents up and running using it in minutes. It nicely played music I was streaming from my collection on the Amazon Cloud. While I was web browsing, scanning Facebook, playing Words with Friends, etc. I also streamed a movie from Amazon's library with little lag or any artifacts. Flash websites were also working nicely. Which was a pleasant surprise for an iPhone user like myself. And, the nice touch, it was already configured for me. I was connected to my Amazon account right out of the box. With links to all my digital property (music, Kindle books, etc.). For this price, it's tough to beat...

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/17/2011 8:37:47 PM
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8 GB storage is enough for a tablet?

_jsw_
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
_jsw_   11/18/2011 2:35:19 PM
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When everything is in the Cloud, yes. You only need enough to carry you over between WiFi connections. Storage is primarily used for apps, music, and books... and the FIre pulls those over the wire as needed. So... yes, 8GB is more than enough for most people. It's like comparing what you need to pack when you're going to spend a week at your parent's house vs what you need to pack if you're going to spend a week in a cave.

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/18/2011 9:23:04 PM
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This is the first capacity reduction I've seen in a product, thanks to the cloud. Stocking for the cloud is going to be very different from stocking for consumer devices. You can market features to a consumer, but to the cloud?

t.alex
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
t.alex   11/19/2011 11:20:18 PM
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Does Amazon provide cloud storage for each tablet?

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/20/2011 3:21:15 AM
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Yes, I read at Amazon that it was 6 GB. So Amazon is effectively telling users they do not need to handle so much data for their sufficient satisfaction. By projection, they wouldn't even need so much on the cloud. They should have marketed this as something strictly for kids, especially with the reading emphasis, instead of the average consumer.

t.alex
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
t.alex   11/20/2011 1:34:44 PM
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In fact looking at it, it is quite a good strategy. Some people do not need so much space so users can have a choice of purchasing more storage from the cloud. Amazon can do a lowcost phone for the next move.

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/21/2011 5:10:10 AM
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The only value this first Amazon Kindle tablet has for me is to bring up whether more resources should be put in the hands of the consumer or in the cloud. A cheaper consumer device means a more expensive cloud. And since cloud resources need the most advanced cooling, it can never be cost effective. To be honest, though I have stuff stored on the cloud, I hardly look at them, because of the additional login. Even Facebook photos will pass into oblivion. So I don't think purchasing cloud storage will work, unless maybe it is insured to be highly maintained (better than myself) and guaranteed backup. But why I won't buy any Amazon screen is I thought general advice was not to stare at a screen for more than a half-hour at a time. That's why paper books will always be healthier.

spookyone
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spookyone   11/26/2011 8:43:19 AM
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Unlimited for content bought from Amazon, 5GB for content you upload. You can buy additional.

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 8:41:42 AM
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That's further reason not to think of it as a tablet. 8GB is plenty for a KINDLE, since you stream all of Amazon's video and music content to it.

chanj0
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chanj0   11/17/2011 10:26:31 PM
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There is a belief that demand of low cost tablet exists. Personally, I think there is because not everyone can afford a $500 iPad. Not everyone needs an iPad. If you are looking for browsing web, reading eBook or magazine, watching your photo album and enjoying videos, Kindle Fire might just be right for you. 8MB may look a bit small. Yet it should be able to hold 2 to 3 100 minutes movies, thousand of phones and, some books and magazines. Plus, if the first release of Kindle fire results in good sales, a 32G or 64G might be available really soon.

daleste
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
daleste   11/18/2011 3:16:03 AM
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I think its a great move for Amazon. I would like to have a tablet, but when it costs as much as a laptop, I'll get the laptop.

sivan_ramachandran
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
sivan_ramachandran   11/18/2011 9:12:23 AM
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Actually, laptops that are cheaper than even the Kindle Fire are available right now. The only attraction that a tablet additionally provides is the portability. If one is satisfied with using a laptop (or netbook), then there should be no additional incentive in buying a tablet.

_jsw_
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
_jsw_   11/18/2011 2:37:18 PM
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Don't underestimate the allure of that portability, though. This tablet is one you can stick in a coat pocket and can use on a crowded train. There is nowhere you can use a laptop that you couldn't or wouldn't use this, but there are many places and situations where you could not or would not use a laptop but could use this.

daleste
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
daleste   11/21/2011 12:43:49 AM
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Okay, I'm convinced. I'll ask for one for Christmas.

spookyone
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spookyone   11/26/2011 8:46:09 AM
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That's pretty misleading. You might find a very low powered netbook for less than $199 ON SALE, you won't find ANY notebooks for that price.

George.embedded
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George.embedded   11/18/2011 9:29:22 AM
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Any body can give an idea for what volume the Kindle fire BOM with or without manufacturing cost might have arrived at.

Steve.Jaacobson
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Steve.Jaacobson   11/18/2011 1:01:13 PM
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I think the real reason for Amazon to sell this tablet is because it is totally Amazon cloud dependent. Even for web browsing, all the html is rendered on the Amazon servers, and only presentation images are sent to the Kindle Fire. That means all your web browsing activity, even on secure web pages, is ripe for Amazon to mine for their own use (and to sell to advertisers). If you think you are doing secure browsing, forget it. You give all your Kindle Fire activity data to Amazon, they resell it, use it for their own marketing, and probably sell your passwords as well. No thanks, No Kindle Fire.

_jsw_
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_jsw_   11/18/2011 2:44:24 PM
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"...and probably sell your passwords as well." Yes, exactly. I mean, what could Amazon possibly stand to lose by selling passwords? Surely nothing, right? Do you have any proof that https-accessed sites are preloaded anyway? You can disable the pre-loading if you're paranoid.

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 9:32:55 AM
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Disabling isn't necessary. SIlk doesn't route https: through Amazon's servers. SSL traffic is directly connected.

rogerrobie68
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
rogerrobie68   11/18/2011 7:55:38 PM
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ewwww, barf...

spookyone
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
spookyone   11/26/2011 9:30:38 AM
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From Amazon's description of how Silk on the Fire handles SSL: "What about handling secure (https) connections? "Amazon Silk routes secure (SSL) web page requests directly from the Kindle Fire to origin servers so they do not pass through AWS servers. As an additional security measure, Amazon Silk encrypts all web traffic between the Kindle Fire and our AWS infrastructure, even where traditional browsers would not encrypt." NOTE: They "DO NOT PASS THROUGH AWS SERVERS." Paranoid much?

wilber_xbox
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
wilber_xbox   11/18/2011 2:44:34 PM
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It was laborious work to click on the next...next...next button to check all the images. And what is the message that we are suppose to get from these pics?

_jsw_
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_jsw_   11/18/2011 2:46:40 PM
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I think it's "we're trying to boost ad revenue and hoping you'll accidentally click on one while trying to go from one minimally-commented photo to the next."

BWatson
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BWatson   11/18/2011 3:56:36 PM
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Oct 26, 2011 Bloomberg : "The company is taking on Apple in the market for tablet computers and sales of digital songs, books and movies. To gain an edge in tablets, Amazon is selling its new Kindle Fire device for as low as $199 -- less than half the price of Apple’s cheapest iPad. At that price, the company will lose $10 per device, research firm IHS Inc. (IHS) estimates. "

tb1
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tb1   11/18/2011 5:59:08 PM
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IHS recently updated their estimates to less than $8 loss per device.

Geetree
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Geetree   11/18/2011 6:57:33 PM
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Kindle Fire is furthering the visionary change, and driving the technology in to more hands. Who can live without touch screen now? Now we need free WIFI everywhere. I prefer the IPOD but I bought 4 Kindle Fires - they are spectacular performance, and my 2 year old granddaughter is using hers now! Netflix & Yo Gabba Gabba! I sure hope the component suppliers reliability holds up. OMAP is kinda out of the mainstream lately.

Charles.Desassure
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Charles.Desassure   11/18/2011 7:19:52 PM
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This is great, and yes the touch screen is here and we love it. But the price of $199 will never reach the digital divide community; they are still trying to get a laptop. We are blessed to have access to all of this wonderful technology…what about the others who cannot afford this technology? It would be great to provide a discount to some people based on their income for Kindle Fire...The goal is to get everyone to start reading again...Right? I hope Kindle Fire representatives are reading this post.

msakms
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msakms   11/18/2011 9:14:24 PM
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I totally agree with your opinion Mr. Charles. That's a crucial point that many people have forgotten about...to get everyone to start reading again =] Cheers,

t.alex
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t.alex   11/18/2011 11:45:20 PM
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With cheap hardware, it is making bets on online services. If i am not wrong Amazon also opens its own app store with its own review process similar to Apple

agk
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agk   11/19/2011 12:42:11 PM
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Amazon entered into tablet market that also seems with a lowest profit. Will he be able to provide free services efficiently during the warranty period? Are their plans are strong enough to service tablets after warranty period? we need to watch the future.

old account Frank Eory
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old account Frank Eory   11/19/2011 9:24:54 PM
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Forgive me for chuckling at the notion of servicing tablets in this price range. For a top end iPad with 64GB and 3G at $999, yes, I can see paying to replace the battery when it wears out. But for a $199 tablet like Kindle Fire? I think that in this price range, I think if anything goes bad after the warranty period -- even something as innocuous as a worn-out battery -- you recycle it and buy a new one...by then it will be Kindle Fire 2, which most users of the first version would rather have anyway.

elctrnx_lyf
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elctrnx_lyf   11/20/2011 6:17:35 AM
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I wished to see more detailed descriptions of the tear down rather than these dumb pictures. I feel amazons strategy is right to sell the hardware at the less price to increase the sales of services in future.

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/20/2011 1:26:25 PM
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Big security flaw discussed at this link: http://seekingalpha.com/?source=yahoo#article/309130-amazon-serious-security-flaw-in-the-kindle-fire/

resistion
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
resistion   11/20/2011 2:08:04 PM
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http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/11/dont-hand-it-to-junior-just-yet-kindle-fire-lacks-key-purchase-controls.ars

Neo10
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Neo10   11/21/2011 2:26:36 AM
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I think it is a good device at that price point. No use comparing it with the iPad since it doesn't tout to be one but heck, it can do 90% of what the iPad can do for a lot lot less and of course with the distinct advantage of access to the huge Amazon store of music and books.

Kinnar
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
Kinnar   11/21/2011 10:16:29 AM
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This is a very useful device at very less cost, I think it is still required to reduce the cost at the device is mainly to promote the business of Amazon.

ughhhh
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re: Teardown: Inside Amazon's Kindle Fire
ughhhh   11/21/2011 9:46:18 PM
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Photo 3 is done by a real professional, his shadow falling on the photographed object. Editor please remove photos 2-5, they don't add anything to this meagre teardown.

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