) Kindle brand is getting a lot of attention this week, first
because of a rumor claiming that the company will follow in the
footsteps of its Chinese competitors and release a $99 tablet.
The rumor originated at
, whose sources say that Amazon hoped to produce a low-cost
tablet that is very similar to the current Kindle Fire HD.
"…The $99 Kindle Fire HD will also still sport a TI processor
like the rest of the lineup, and will have a 1280×800 resolution,
like today's Kindle Fire HD 7" does," TechCrunch's Sarah Perez
wrote in her report.
To illustrate the feasibility of a $99 tablet, Perez pointed
recent price cuts
for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire, which received discounts of $30
(for the standard Wi-Fi model) and $100 (for the 4G/Wi-Fi
Perez also interviewed IDC Research Director Tom Mainelli, who
said that the infrastructure is "definitely in place for Amazon
to go even lower" than its current prices.
"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," he said. "It's entirely possible -
physically possible - to create a device that costs $99,
particularly at the scale that Amazon would do it."
Keith Wagstaff concurred, adding that the $99 price point "makes
"If Amazon were to sell its tablet for less than $100, it
would put Apple (NASDAQ:
) and others on notice," he wrote.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes believes that a $99 Kindle Fire would
"annihilate the Android tablet competition."
After the rumor had just enough time to excite the masses,
Amazon responded by issuing a formal denial to
on the Web
According to those reports, an unnamed spokesperson said that
the $99 tablet is "not happening -- we are already at the lowest
price points possible for that hardware."
Of course, Amazon would have likely issued a similar statement
about the prospect of a $159 Kindle Fire in 2011. Back then, the
idea seemed crazy. In September 2012,
it finally happened
. Thus, it is not out of the question to think that an
older/slightly modified Kindle Fire may one day sell for $99.
While that development is apparently on hold, there is another
that's about to go into effect.
, Kindle e-reader shipments could drop by several hundred
thousand units in March and April.
In January, Amazon reportedly shipped 750,000 Kindles
worldwide. That number dropped to 420,000 in February, which
proved to be a
slow sales month
March isn't over yet, but the month is expected to be very
hard on Amazon's Kindle division. The firm is expected to ship as
few as 20,000 units this month. Shipments may be the same in
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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