Amazon made a rousing tablet market debut in November, moving around four million Kindle devices during December alone and nearly usurping the number two spot from Samsung. The big question now is how the cyber retail giant will maintain that momentum. If new rumors are to be believed, Amazon already has an answer: a bigger, better Kindle Fire.
Speaking anonymously to Taiwanese site Digitimes, supply chain insiders claimed Amazon has already sent Foxconn Electronics ODM orders for a new 10-inch Kindle Fire. Whether the tablet would also feature improved internals wasn’t disclosed, but a larger screen would easily alleviate several complaints about the original model.
Tech critic Jakob Nielsen called out the Kindle Fire for several usability issues, but reserved special ire for its 7-inch touchscreen. “You haven’t seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you’ve watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire,” said Nielsen, who observed the ups and down of a four-person panel toying with the device.
A ChangeWave Research study published this month revealed Kindle Fire owners were considerably less satisfied with their purchase than those who bought an iPad. Respondents cited the lack of a camera and volume button, as well as poor battery life, as key areas where Amazon’s tablet disappoints. The Fire’s low $199 price tag easily won the majority vote for most-liked feature with 59 percent, followed by color screen (31 percent) and ease of use (27 percent).
Whether future Kindle Fire revisions will share that same price point is unknown, but doing otherwise would play against the device’s key strength as a low-cost iPad alternative for folks who want a tablet, but don’t have $500+ to blow.
Research group IHS broke down the device’s bill of materials ahead of its November 15 launch and found that Amazon would only see a “razor-thin” $10 profit on each unit sold. The retailer instead hoped to give its click-happy shoppers a relatively cheap new way to shop and make up the difference through increased online sales. (via AllThingsD)