Amazon plans to go head-on against the plethora of entry-level 7-inch Android tablets swarming sub-$100 price-points, with a new 7-inch device. The said device, according to reports, could fall under the company's Kindle Fire HD brand, and offer killer features at a price of just $99. The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD could boast of a 1280 x 800-pixel screen resolution, and have the same Texan heart (TI SoC) as its siblings.
A market researcher with IDC, Tom Mainelli, notes that while it may seem unusual, it's quite realistic for Amazon to release such a device, and at such a price. Even as Android and iOS are expected to slug it out this quarter over majority tablet OS market share, Amazon's Android-derived custom OS stands a fair chance at eating into Android's market share. The Amazon brand, after-sales support, and product warranties could give the $99 Kindle Fire HD a huge edge over sub-$100 Android tablets from most brands.
"The infrastructure is definitely in place for Amazon to go even lower," Mainelli says. "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," he adds.