Current rumours surrounding the online retailer-turned-mobile device manufacturer Amazon continue to circle, with the latest story from TechCrunch suggesting that the American company are planning to better their best for the consumers and offer an even cheaper edition of their Kindle Fire HD tablet.
The rumours suggest that a new product is in the pipeline from Amazon, essentially a ‘7-inch variation’ of the current Amazon Kindle Fire HD (which on its cheapest edition is a $199 product also measuring in at 7-inches), with the new item planned for sale at a (positively) jaw-dropping rate of $99 (£65).
Such a price drop is designed to keep up with the competition (namely, Android-based devices) in a battle which was started by Amazon lowering the consumer cost with the original Fire (now priced from around $159), though it seems even a tablet brand known purely for low prices still needs to raise (or ‘lower’) its game sometimes.
Technically, the new product is said to run on the same ‘TI processor’ its predecessors have sported, alongside a 1280×800 resolution (also matching the current products), with lower production costs (and presumably cheaper materials) the main difference, while a number of product features would naturally be held back to fit in with these methods.
Even with a limited range, the product has proven to be effective on a budget before, and will serve as an additional option to a product line which at its most ‘premium’ point, currently has the recently-reduced ‘WiFi version’ ($269) and the ‘Wi-Fi/LTE version’ ($399) on offer.
Tom Mainelli, a research director for IDC said of the potential impact on in the industry, and the feasibility of Amazon’s proposal: “The infrastructure is definitely in place for Amazon to go even lower. If they can sell the product at roughly what it costs to build, that fits their long-term vision to make money selling you content on that device. It’s entirely possible – physically possible – to create a device that costs $99, particularly at the scale that Amazon would do it.”
While still only industry rumours, the device is reported to have a proposed release date of ‘later this year’, so will the ‘$99 Kindle Fire HD’ by the end of 2013 have helped Amazon go where no major tablet brand dares to venture in terms of pricing? At its new ‘lowest’ point, such a product could end up being up to four times cheaper than an iPad advertised at ‘low cost’. That would obviously say more about Apple than anything else…