Word around the rumor mill has Amazon pegged as creating a 7-inch Kindle Fire model that would sell for $99. If rumors are true, it would carry the same TI processor as its predecessor and come with a 1280×800 display. With Amazon slashing prices on its current models, one can expect to see a new version coming soon. While a sub-$100 seems to be a bit on the low side, Amazon has been known for its cheaper tablets with its forked version of Android.
While it may not entice those looking for a more robust tablet like the Nexus 7, it would certainly appeal to those who don’t want to spend a lot. This would make an enticing entry in a market flooded with tablets from unknown manufacturers found at your local pharmacy or Bed, Bath & Beyond stores. IDC Research Director on tablets, Tom Mainelli, believes this to be a reasonable move. He was quoted to say:
“The infrastructure is definitely in place for Amazon to go even lower. 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.”
With TI getting out of the chip game, Amazon could potentially buy up the remaining stock for a bargain, which could help them in achieving a cheaper Kindle Fire. With Amazon shipping 4.8 million Kindle Fires in the the 4th quarter of 2011, and roughly the same in 2012, they’ve moved a decent amount of tablets. This $99 tablet could give them the opportunity to move even more, however, Amazon isn’t saying anything. We’ll just have to wait and see.