updated 01:30 pm EST, Fri February 17, 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire spring update may be very cheap
Amazon may be hoping to shave even more costs on its possible spring Kindle Fire follow-up. Rumors Friday from suppliers given to China Times had it hand-picking which individual contractors it would use instead of giving a blanket deal with Quanta for the original. One of the new entrants might be contract manufacturing giant Foxconn (Hon Hai).
Its production cost slashes would be to minimize the damage to Amazon's bottom line. Amazon may have garnered as much as 14 percent market share in tablets in the fall, but its selling at a loss in the hopes of recouping costs through content so far hasn't panned out. The company's profits last fall fell 58 percent.
The actual hardware details weren't supplied, although specifications would reportedly go to the factories in March with full-scale production between May and June. Earlier claims had the slate using an 8.9-inch screen and focusing more on video than reading.
Android's status in the tablet market might depend on whether or not the Kindle Fire is a sustainable business for Amazon. Other competitors, even including Samsung, have seen shipments either grow slowly or shrink while the iPad continued to grow. What growth has existed for Android has sat mostly in sub-$250 tablets like the Kindle Fire or Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet. [via PocketNow]