The Kindle Fire Tablet PC was announced in late September, and was made available for pre-order reservation at that time. The 7 inch color touch screen tablet immediately began rocketing off of the proverbial shelves of Amazon’s retail website thanks to its $199 purchase price. The third week of November those pre-orders began shipping, and folks started to get the Kindle Fire into their hands. Analysts predicted that the tablet, which sold 95,000 units its first 24 hour launch period, would sell between 3 and 4 million copies this fourth quarter. However, many analysts have been backtracking and revamping their predicted numbers.
Many of those analysts predicting 3 to 4 million units sold in in Q4 have raised their estimates to the 4 to 5 million number mark, but at least one revered investing firm believes that sales of at least 6 million units this quarter are not out of the question. Analysts at storied Goldman Sachs recently raised their estimates to 6 million units for the Kindle Fire Tablet for Q4, and 8 million units for all versions of the Kindle eBook readers. They point to continued sales support and growth after the release date, which is translating into word-of-mouth sales.
Goldman’s report pointed out that the Kindle Fire has nowhere the versatility or functionality of an iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab or other popular tablet. However, he also stated that Amazon has done a great job of understanding what consumers want, and the price they’re willing to pay, in this case being budget priced media consumption. Amazon took a gamble by releasing a 7 inch display on the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, no cameras, and no storage expansion capabilities. Before the Kindle Fire arrived, the standard tablet form was a 10 inch display, dual cameras front and back, and, with the exception of the iPad 2, a microSD slot for storage expansion.
Apples iPad 2 handles the storage expansion issue by releasing three different models, a 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB version of the iPad 2. Those models sell for $499, $599 and $699 respectively. The Kindle Fire is priced at $199, but Amazon offers free lifetime and unlimited Cloud Storage of all Amazon content with every Kindle Fire purchase. That effectively handles the issue of storage capability, and gives the Kindle Fire far and away the greatest storage capacity and access of any tablet in the mobile marketplace, and matches the Apple iCloud offerings.
Buy the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet for $199.
Considering the popularity and sales success of the Kindle Fire, Jeff Bezos made the right gambles and pulled the right strings. Certainly, releasing his first tablet offering at a price $200 to $300 lower than the competition’s products means the Kindle Fire should keep customer’s home fires burning well through the holiday season.