Just minutes before the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet was scheduled to be officially unveiled at Amazon’s press event in New York, Bloomberg have outed the tablets specs and price to the world. And remember those rumours of a super-low price point to undercut all its Android competitors? Yeah. That happened.
According to Bloomberg, the Kindle Fire will hit the market with a price tag of a ridiculous $199, or about £125. That’s a mere £14 more than the current Kindle e-reader. Just to hammer the point home, its most obvious competitors in the field of Android tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook, Motorola XOOM and the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, cost around £350, £400 and £450, respectively.
So how is Amazon managing to lop off so much of the standard tablet price? Well, for one thing it’s trimmed down the non-essential tablet features, losing the camera, the microphone and a 3G version. Not that we can see these omissions doing the Fire much harm – the original WiFi ipad didn’t have a camera or a microphone either, and that worked out well in the end.
The second explanation is presumably that Amazon are massively subsidising the Fire in the same way that they do with their Kindle e-reader. Just as the Kindle makes up the money it loses on each device from the cost of ebooks sold in Amazon’s Kindle Store, Amazon will be a one-stop shop for Fire users, offering films, TV, music, ebook and now app content for the Fire’s userbase.
The phrase iPad killer gets tossed around far too readily to describe may so-so tablets that are quickly buried by Apple’s super-slick tablet. But an Android tablet backed by the biggest entertainment provider in the world for £125? Assuming Bloomberg has its facts straight, this is going to be huge.