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Amazon seen micromanaging next Kindle Fire to trim price

updated 01:30 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire spring update may be very cheap

Amazon may be hoping to shave even more costs on its possible spring Kindle Fire follow-up. Rumors Friday from suppliers given to China Times had it hand-picking which individual contractors it would use instead of giving a blanket deal with Quanta for the original. One of the new entrants might be contract manufacturing giant Foxconn (Hon Hai).

Its production cost slashes would be to minimize the damage to Amazon's bottom line. Amazon may have garnered as much as 14 percent market share in tablets in the fall, but its selling at a loss in the hopes of recouping costs through content so far hasn't panned out. The company's profits last fall fell 58 percent.

The actual hardware details weren't supplied, although specifications would reportedly go to the factories in March with full-scale production between May and June. Earlier claims had the slate using an 8.9-inch screen and focusing more on video than reading.

Android's status in the tablet market might depend on whether or not the Kindle Fire is a sustainable business for Amazon. Other competitors, even including Samsung, have seen shipments either grow slowly or shrink while the iPad continued to grow. What growth has existed for Android has sat mostly in sub-$250 tablets like the Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet. [via PocketNow]

by MacNN Staff



  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Too soon to judge

    Re: "... selling at a loss in the hopes of recouping costs through content so far hasn't panned out."

    Uh oh. That was Amazon's reason for building the Kindle Fire. To act as an at-home sales terminal for Amazon goods and content.

    But look at it this way. The Kindle Fire was released barely 3 months ago. That's not enough time to get an accurate forecast of Kindle Fire sales numbers or revenue generated per user. The iPod didn't sell very well in its first 3 months either, if I recall correctly.

  1. coldcuts

    Joined: Dec 1969



    While Apple has been on the receiving end, rightfully, of those complaining about the fair labor treatment of Chinese contract employees, other tablet manufacturers have been given a pass.

    This will change.

    Apple's recent practice changes are as much about setting the standard for other tablets as for placating the concerns about ipad/iphone production. The success of of 'Fire' ensures equal scrutiny, but the lack of a profit margin on the Fire will make it difficult for them to pressure their suppliers for fair treatment of the workers. Apple is not ONLY setting a standard, but helping to make it difficult to even find the cheaper/shadier labor others may be counting on.

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