Amazon could slash Kindle Fire price to $149 as a new model approaches

Amazon could slash Kindle Fire price to $149 as a new model approaches

Summary: If the rumors are true and Amazon does slash the price of its bestselling Kindle Fire Android tablet to $149 then the company will once again have set a competitive price point that other tablet makers will have to limbo under.

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Rumblings suggest Amazon may be preparing to simultaneously unveil an updated Kindle Fire 2 tablet while slashing the price of the existing Kindle Fire to $149.

First up with the Kindle Fire rumors is DigiTimes with a report claiming that "sources from the upstream supply chain" believe that Amazon is in a position to be able to cut the price of the 7-inch Kindle Fire by $50 -- while at the same time launching an updated 7-inch tablet at the old price tag of $199.

(It's probably worth noting DigiTimes' track record far from perfect, so it's worth taking this with a hearty dose of salt to be on the safe side.)

This is similar to Apple's strategy with the iPad, when during the launch of the iPad 3 it kept the iPad 2 in its inventory at a new and reduced price.

One possible way for Amazon to cover the price cut is through the use of and ad subsidy model such as that currently being used on the $79 Kindle 'with special offers' e-book reader.

The Kindle Fire is currently the bestselling Android tablet by a significant margin, owning over 54 percent of the market.

The report claims that the Kindle Fire 2 -- or whatever it ends up being called -- will have a screen resolution of 1280 x 800. The report also claims that Amazon is also working on 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch tablets; though development has been halted on the 8.9-inch model while the 10.1-inch model could be released in or around Q4 2012---Q1 2013.

Sister site CNET understands the Kindle Fire 2 could feature a camera and physical volume-control buttons --- two features that the current Kindle Fire lacks.

It seems that after setting a $199 price bar that other tablet makers had to limbo beneath, Amazon could be getting ready to lower that entry level price point considerably.

Image source: Amazon.

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Topics: Amazon, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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5 comments
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  • I don't understand the enthusiasm for Kindle or Google tablets, anyway...

    I just read one of the tracking firm's reports that Amazon sold ~4 million Kindle Fires in the first post-launch quarter, and around 800,000 in the second. Clearly, there was interest at the price point of the first one, but experience is a bitch, and the market voted it down. Yugo 2.0 may fix the issues with the first, but comebacks when you were late the first time are tough to make successful (Blackberry Curve, anyone?).

    The simple fact is, the majority of users want the features Apple keeps piling on, generation after generation. Almost 20% of all US households with a gross income of $75,000 or more already own an iPad. To businesses who are eliminated dead-tree promotional tools (brochures, die-cut sales aids, product sheets etc.) a $600 iPad is a bargain, which explains why there's no perceptible use of anything else by the Fortune 500.

    Apple set the bar with a very profitable series of tablets that amaze both consumers and businesses. Anything less will be less.
    MedAdMan
    • Households with incomes over $75,000 are pretty rare though

      .
      M Wagner
      • Not that rare

        If the 20% is true, that is 1 in 5 of every households. My salary is not above $75k, but counting our entire household, we are in that 1 in 5, but so are every one of our neighbors. So, in certain neighborhoods, that is every household. I know very few households that have a Kindle Fire, and if they do have one, they most certainly have iPads.
        ManoaHI
    • Not Down - Shipping

      The report said that Amazon shipped ~4 million Q4, 2011 (first post-launch quarter). They did not sell 4 million. Clearly their channels had enough inventory so they only shipped 800,000 Q1 2012. Please do not fall for the shipped vs. sold numbers. They get interchanged often, but read carefully, the report states clearly "shipped." The sales of Kindle Fires have been rising or holding steady, but they are most definitely not falling. The next quarter may actually see sales drop if Amazon announces a Kindle Fire 2 (or whatever they decide to call it), where people are waiting for a price drop of the current Fire or want to buy the new Fire.
      ManoaHI
  • Poor reasoning

    "company will once again have set a competitive price point that other tablet makers will have to limbo under"

    Not at all. All products come at different price points. Just because there are economy car models doesn't mean people don't buy luxury models. Tablets are no different.
    AnalogJoystick