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Amazon set to introduce 'five or six' new Kindle Fire models - report

post #1 of 63
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Amazon is expected to dramatically increase its Kindle Fire tablet lineup from just one model to five or six, according to a new report.

Demos Parneros, president of U.S. Retail for Staples, said Amazon is gearing up to introduce as many as a half-dozen stock-keeping units, or SKUs, for new Kindle Fire models, according to Reuters. The new models are expected to be available in different sizes, including a larger 10-inch model that would more directly compete with Apple's 9.7-inch iPad.

It's likely that Amazon will not introduce up to six distinct Kindle Fire models. Instead, it's plausible that the models will offer varying levels of capacity, with more storage, or connectivity, with potential features like 3G or 4G LTE wireless.

Since the launch of the 7-inch Kindle Fire last year, there have been reports suggesting Amazon was exploring larger screen sizes of 8.9 inches and 10.1 inches for future models. The new hardware is rumored to debut later this year.

When the new Kindle Fire models debut, the existing model is expected to remain available at a discounted price of $149. That would undercut the new 7-inch Google Nexus 7 by $50.



For now, the Kindle Fire is available in only one model and once screen size at once price: $199. It debuted with a a strong start, but demand quickly collapsed, as customer satisfaction with Amazon's low-priced device was about half that of Apple's third-generation iPad, according to research from ChangeWave.

Amazon also stepped up competition with Apple earlier this month when the retailer announced its new GameCenter social network for Kindle Fire games. The service, compatible with popular titles like "Temple Run" and "Doodle Jump," is very similar to Apple's own Game Center for iOS.
post #2 of 63
There had better be an eInk model with a backlight. The cheap Android tablets are distracting from innovation in the eInk side of the Kindle world.

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post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
When the new Kindle Fire models debut, the existing model is expected to remain available at a discounted price of $149. That would undercut the new 7-inch Google Nexus 7 by $50.

 

At first I thought this was a bad idea. A lack of confidence in their product.

 

Then I realized that Amazon is just going for shelf space... merchandising.

 

Target will carry most, if not all, of the models (at least at first) that will allow Kindle a larger presence in retail... Combined with the "every price point" PC philosophy.

post #4 of 63

How about they fix the one they already have, before they add more fail to the market?

post #5 of 63

If we're talking SKUs, Amazon could add 6 models of Kindle Fire quite easily just with a variation of 3/4G option, color and storage sizes.

post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How about they fix the one they already have, before they add more fail to the market?

They are doing it right, so far. They have one model and they focused the consumer on it. Now they can expand their market. They already have 2 SKUs for the Fire so having a larger model, additional capacities, and/or cellular option sounds like balanced growth to me. Apple has 18 SKUs for their 10" iPad and still hasn't added Sprint to the line up. For comparison, I think MS should learn from Amazon in how to release a tablet that makes sense to the public.

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post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How about they fix the one they already have, before they add more fail to the market?

Exactly. This on top of other fail coming into the market (e.g., the Google thing).....

post #8 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. This on top of other fail coming into the market (e.g., the Google thing).....

I don't get that. The Nexus 7 seems like a great device for $199.

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post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They are doing it right, so far. They have one model and they focused the consumer on it. Now they can expand their market. They already have 2 SKUs for the Fire so having a larger model, additional capacities, and/or cellular option sounds like balanced growth to me. Apple has 18 SKUs for their 10" iPad and still hasn't added Sprint to the line up. For comparison, I think MS should learn from Amazon in how to release a tablet that makes sense to the public.

WRONG !!

 

They released a model that was "half-finished" in terms of software, resulting in poor consumer experience.  What most people don't realize is that (other than books and e-books) Amazon has almost no presence outside the U.S. and U.K.

post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't get that. The Nexus 7 seems like a great device for $199.

 

 

I saw an  article today saying that due to overwhelming demand, it is now out of stock and that production is being expanded.   

post #11 of 63

If they make something capable of running Jelly Bean with more features than the Nexus 7 some people will buy it just for that reason. Even if they have to root the system. A fully functional tablet with at least an equal screen resolution to the Nexux 7; more memory, or a card reader would create lots of sales.

 

There are wireless storage devices out there now that can expand any tablets capacity by 64 GBs. They are the size of smart phones. Getting one of these is cheaper than the price difference between the $499 iPad and the $699 iPad. People can buy the low end model to see if they like the tablet concept. If they do then they can buy a lot of external storage for it. The next time they upgrade they'll know ahead of time to buy the large capacity model or save that money and keep using the wireless external storage device.

post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Exactly. This on top of other fail coming into the market (e.g., the Google thing).....

You mean the one Google can barely keep in stock? The 7in tablet market is for real. Just because it's not an Apple strategy doesn't mean it's a 'fail'.

 

I have no interest in Fire or any new ones for that matter, but if Amazon intends to expand the Fire family, good for them? Obviously if it was so expensive, detrimental or as you say, a fail, to their business they wouldn't be doing it.

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post #13 of 63

Fünf oder sechs Modelle.  Wirklich.  Muss ein von wievielen wählen?  Mein Selbst benötige ich nur ein.  Apple iPad.

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post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't get that. The Nexus 7 seems like a great device for $199.

I'd like to wait and see what happens over the next year. If past experience is anything to go by -- people said similar things about Google's Nexus phone, and a whole heck of a lot of 'iPad killers' -- I am skeptical. With no app store to speak of, no movies in their store, no music in their store, no ability to view in landscape mode (99% of my iPad use is in that mode), etc., it sounds a bit hobbled coming out of the gate. Moreover, the fact that they make zero profit on it (something they've acknowledged) tells me that it cannot be sustained. Their margins will get killed if the product is super-successful.

 

All Android tablets thus far have been a disaster. If/when something succeeds, I'll reconsider my view. (Given that there's some initial buzz, at this unsustainable price, we should not be surprised if it's sold out).

post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by H2P View Post

 

At first I thought this was a bad idea. A lack of confidence in their product.

 

Then I realized that Amazon is just going for shelf space... merchandising.

 

Target will carry most, if not all, of the models (at least at first) that will allow Kindle a larger presence in retail... Combined with the "every price point" PC philosophy.

 

 

Let's see if I've got this right...

 

  1. Amazon will offer more models/SKUs at various attractive price points
  2. This will cause Stick and Stucco stores like Target, BestBuy, etc. to allocate more/better shelf space
  3. This will increase store traffic
  4. While at the store, the shopper will check out other products of interest
  5. Then, the shopper will "Showroom" the products he likes
  6. --- and buy them for less money at the Amazon web site

 

What Stick and Stucco store wouldn't kill to do this kind of merchandising?

 

 

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post #16 of 63
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Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

I saw an  article today saying that due to overwhelming demand, it is now out of stock and that production is being expanded.   

I saw an article today that said that selling at a low price increases demand. Figure that!

post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You mean the one Google can barely keep in stock? The 7in tablet market is for real. Just because it's not an Apple strategy doesn't mean it's a 'fail'.

 

I have no interest in Fire or any new ones for that matter, but if Amazon intends to expand the Fire family, good for them? Obviously if it was so expensive, detrimental or as you say, a fail, to their business they wouldn't be doing it.

See above.

post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

There had better be an eInk model with a backlight. The cheap Android tablets are distracting from innovation in the eInk side of the Kindle world.

Yea i think it's on the way. B&N just released a backlit eInk Nook.
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post #19 of 63
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Originally Posted by H2P View Post

.

Target will carry most, if not all, of the models (at least at first) that will allow Kindle a larger presence in retail... Combined with the "every price point" PC philosophy.

Wasn't it Target that announced they were dropping all Kindle products because they were tired of being used as Amazons showroom

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post #20 of 63
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Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You mean the one Google can barely keep in stock?

But what does that really mean numbers wise? Out of Stock is a different game when the in stock was only like 10 units at a time, compared to say 10k or 10mil. The HP Slate sold out in like 3 days of preorders which sounded great until it was revealed that they had only had like 2k models for sale

How many sales are channel v end user?
And how many returns have there been on the Nexus. Cause saying something like 100k sold means less if that's to the channel but only 1k of that has sold to users. Or that 100k sales to users have had 50k returns.

Google could be pulling a Samsung and saying they are sold out but it's just channel sales and might not be a major number at that
Edited by charlituna - 7/23/12 at 12:44pm

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post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You mean the one Google can barely keep in stock? The 7in tablet market is for real. Just because it's not an Apple strategy doesn't mean it's a 'fail'.


"Barely able to keep in stock" could either mean high demand or low production. Since Google doesn't announce sales, you have no way of knowing which.

In the end, it will be much like the Kindle Fire. Lots of initial sales from people who think the iPad is too expensive - followed by lots of disappointed customers. Read the reviews. The essence of most of them seems to be "it's UI is worse than the iPad, the software selection is worse than the iPad, the screen is worse than the iPad, and the build quality is worse than the iPad, but it's only $199, so who cares?" Of the dozen or so reviews I've read, none of them says it's a great product - just an acceptable product.

If Apple releases a 7" iPad, even at $299, it will destroy Nexus 7" tablet sales.
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post #22 of 63

Innovation in Silicon Valley has been reduced to gazing at SJ's corpse in the rear view mirror. 

post #23 of 63

Darn! I enjoy checking platform compatibility, so I was hoping for perhaps an even dozen of new models. Oh, well, maybe in another 6 months.

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I don't get that. The Nexus 7 seems like a great device for $199.

 

 

I saw an  article today saying that due to overwhelming demand, it is now out of stock and that production is being expanded.   

Well, its a pretty neat trick:  

Make not that many (primarily because iPad has crushed almost all other pretenders),

then, when you sell out, you can say demand was "overwhelming".  

At which point, of course you'll make more, and spin the whole ploy to best advantage...duh.

post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

WRONG !!

They released a model that was "half-finished" in terms of software, resulting in poor consumer experience.  What most people don't realize is that (other than books and e-books) Amazon has almost no presence outside the U.S. and U.K.

1) I know you're only posting because I trounced you in a previous thread when you started to make stupid statements so why make the same mistake again by starting off a comment with "WRONG !!" It just makes you sound stupid.

2) Whether you think it was "half-finished" or not has no barring on my comment or the verifiable history of successful device releases. People said the iPod, iPhone and iPad were all "half-finished" when first release because it didn't have this or that that was available by other vendors or deemed essential to be useful by anyone for any task at any cost. Yet the market has spoken and Apple dominates all these areas. Apple has also systematically added features and improved their devices YoY just as Amazon has done with the Kindle. Is there a better eReader device than the Kindle? is there another company that dominates the eReader market? No, and yet your comment would lead us to believe that because the first Kindle was shit that all the others should have been shit, too. Bottom line: Amazon is growing the brand in the proper way if they increase the HW features of the Kindle Fire this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I'd like to wait and see what happens over the next year. If past experience is anything to go by -- people said similar things about Google's Nexus phone, and a whole heck of a lot of 'iPad killers' -- I am skeptical. With no app store to speak of, no movies in their store, no music in their store, no ability to view in landscape mode (99% of my iPad use is in that mode), etc., it sounds a bit hobbled coming out of the gate. Moreover, the fact that they make zero profit on it (something they've acknowledged) tells me that it cannot be sustained. Their margins will get killed if the product is super-successful.

All Android tablets thus far have been a disaster. If/when something succeeds, I'll reconsider my view. (Given that there's some initial buzz, at this unsustainable price, we should not be surprised if it's sold out).

You make some great points but remember that the Nexus 7 costs less than the Nexus 7 off contract, or on contract is substantially cheaper. It can be used for most things people use with a computer, or at least a lot more than a smartphone can feasibly do.

Up until the KIndle Fire, which is a very limited OS device, 7" tablets were trying to just compete with the10" iPad on price. Whether Google can maintain selling a loss-leader or turn it into a profit center is another story but they definitely think it's important to grab a stake in the tablet market and I think the #199 Nexus 7 is a solid attempt at doing so.

I also think it's the best excuse for why Apple needs to create a smaller and cheaper tablet. By need, I mean that as controlling the market longterm because if a solid Android-based tablet ecosystem can emerge then it's possible to eventually overthrown the 10" iPad's dominance. However, if Apple can also dominate the inexpensive 7"-ish tablet market segment then it has a better chance to preventing Android-based tablets from ever gaining any real grown. This is a long term strategy as I don't see Apple's tablet profits being in jeopardy for the foreseeable future and they certainly don't care about marketshare for the sake of marketshare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

If Apple releases a 7" iPad, even at $299, it will destroy Nexus 7" tablet sales.

I think that's a reasonable price difference. While 50% more seems like a lot we're only talking $100 for an established system and ecosystem. We're also taking about a 40%(?) larger display if we're talking about the 7.85" 4:3 iPad rumour.
Edited by SolipsismX - 7/23/12 at 1:07pm

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post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 With no app store to speak of, no movies in their store, no music in their store, no ability to view in landscape mode (99% of my iPad use is in that mode), etc., it sounds a bit hobbled coming out of the gate. Moreover, the fact that they make zero profit on it (something they've acknowledged) tells me that it cannot be sustained. Their margins will get killed if the product is super-successful.

Not sure what you're getting at here. The Google Play store has apps, movies, and music? You're right on landscape mode, though there is a free app that fixes that easily enough apparently. They do make a profit on it as it costs $152 to make each one, though 23.5% margin isn't exactly door busting. They haven't acknowledged it as you claim, only that they are not "looking to make a profit" on each one. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


But what does that really mean numbers wise? Out of Stock is a different game when the in stock was only like 10 units at a time, compared to say 10k or 10mil. The HP Slate sold out in like 3 days of preorders which sounded great until it was revealed that they had only had like 2k models for sale
How many sales are channel v end user?
And how many returns have there been on the Nexus. Cause saying something like 100k sold means less if that's to the channel but only 1k of that has sold to users. Or that 100k sales to users have had 50k returns.
Google could be pulling a Samsung and saying they are sold out but it's just channel sales and might not be a major number at that

Potentially. I'm generally assuming Google wants to sell them and demand is exceeding their original expectations which was probably modest as margins are thin as is and articles claim they will expand production of them going forward. It's not really even in stores yet since most are bought direct from Google. You could make the same arguments about Apple or any product launch for that matter and frankly if you have to rely on returns of x product to claim it's not really selling you've got weak points.

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post #27 of 63

the Kindle Fire is capable of running Jellybean right now with some hacking and it works better than the amazon software.   http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/11/jelly-bean-spreads-the-butter-to-amazons-kindle-fire-in-unoffic/

post #28 of 63

Sad sad sad!

The iPad mini will crush all flavors of those kindles. Amazon   is doomed. When the iPad mini drops and the accessories hit the market and people start using it in business...

Game over. Jeff Bezos will be kicked out his own damn company. Happens all the time.

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


"Barely able to keep in stock" could either mean high demand or low production. Since Google doesn't announce sales, you have no way of knowing which.

 

And neither do you, so I'll meet you at the peak of Moot point.

Quote:
In the end, it will be much like the Kindle Fire. Lots of initial sales from people who think the iPad is too expensive - followed by lots of disappointed customers. Read the reviews. The essence of most of them seems to be "it's UI is worse than the iPad, the software selection is worse than the iPad, the screen is worse than the iPad, and the build quality is worse than the iPad, but it's only $199, so who cares?" Of the dozen or so reviews I've read, none of them says it's a great product - just an acceptable product.

The reviews are definitely much better than Kindle Fire. Only people like you try to connect it to the iPad to try to shrug it off as inferior, since most reviews claim it's not an iPad competitor in the first place (logically since it's a different size, no rear camera, half the storage..) it's an entirely different value proposition.

 

Quote:
If Apple releases a 7" iPad, even at $299, it will destroy Nexus 7" tablet sales.

In your useless anonymous opinion, sure. I always forget you're the time traveling tech and legal authority. /s  Sure it would assumingly sell better, destroy? Hardly, unless you're admitting people are not buying the iPad to buy the Nexus.

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post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post
The iPad mini will crush all flavors of those kindles.

 

The iPad already is. The "mini" serves no purpose.

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post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

You're right on landscape mode, though there is a free app that fixes that easily enough apparently.

That defeats the purpose when the OS and apps aren't designed around using multiple modes.
Quote:
They do make a profit on it as it costs $152 to make each one, though 23.5% margin isn't exactly door busting.

Where are you getting that info? From an iSuppli where they clearly state the BoM is not what it costs "to make each one"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

The iPad already is. The "mini" serves no purpose.

People said that about the iPod mini. What's worse is that the iPod mini had a lot less music, did a lot less, and cost almost as much. Certainly cost a lot more per GB. And yet it's the first iPod I bought because the original iPod size was too big for my needs and the Mini was perfect so I can see why a smaller tablet could fill a niche even if it's not as profitable as the 10" iPad.

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post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They are doing it right, so far. They have one model and they focused the consumer on it. Now they can expand their market. They already have 2 SKUs for the Fire so having a larger model, additional capacities, and/or cellular option sounds like balanced growth to me. Apple has 18 SKUs for their 10" iPad and still hasn't added Sprint to the line up. For comparison, I think MS should learn from Amazon in how to release a tablet that makes sense to the public.

Disagree. The product was half baked coming into the market. Outside of books, the infrastructure is pathetic. The browser leaves something to be desired and the whole thing just feels on the cheap. This of course doesn't include the fact that the product loses money on each sale. My mother has one and will be using the Fire as it was intended. And that would be as a stepping stone to the iPad. When the 7" iPad comes out, Amazon can shut the lights off and close the door on this chapter.

post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmvsm View Post

Disagree. The product was half baked coming into the market. Outside of books, the infrastructure is pathetic. The browser leaves something to be desired and the whole thing just feels on the cheap. This of course doesn't include the fact that the product loses money on each sale. My mother has one and will be using the Fire as it was intended. And that would be as a stepping stone to the iPad. When the 7" iPad comes out, Amazon can shut the lights off and close the door on this chapter.

I really have no idea how my comment of "doing it right" where I clearly referenced the growing of the brand YoY instead of announcing/releasing multiple and confusing models at the same time could be construed as anything but how they are building their products out just as they did with eReaders and Apple has done with iPods. My comment has absolutely no barring on OS, the server-side browser, the quality of the plastic casing, etc. It was just about how Amazon (and Apple) have been smart about building out their hardware.

If you want to get into the OS. specifically the browser it's pretty bad in comparison to iOS but not a bad first effort for Amazon and marginally better than other tablet OS attempts to compete with the iPad. The UI was very slow at first but a revision did come that smoothed it up and resolved a lot of the niggling issue I had with the device. As mentioned previously, Amazon doesn't have a long track record with building their HW and OSes but if the Kindle readers are any indication the next Kindle Fire will be a significant improvement over the first.
Edited by SolipsismX - 7/23/12 at 1:50pm

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post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Not sure what you're getting at here. The Google Play store has apps, movies, and music? You're right on landscape mode, though there is a free app that fixes that easily enough apparently. They do make a profit on it as it costs $152 to make each one, though 23.5% margin isn't exactly door busting. They haven't acknowledged it as you claim, only that they are not "looking to make a profit" on each one. 

According to David Pogue's review (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/technology/personaltech/nexus-7-googles-new-tablet-seriously-challenges-the-ipad-state-of-the-art.html?pagewanted=2&ref=davidpogue): 

"On the Nexus 7, Google’s special apps for reading e-books, playing music and playing videos are front and center. Clearly, Google is pulling out all the stops to duplicate a chief advantage of Apple and Amazon tablets — their well-integrated, well-stocked online store for books, movies, music and apps.

 

Unfortunately, Google’s efforts to build that online store are only in the early stages. Its store shelves are much emptier than Apple’s and Amazon’s. For example, Amazon offers 650 digital magazines and newspapers; Google’s catalog is a third as big. No New Yorker, Time or The Economist. Google’s music store has nothing from Warner, and therefore no Green Day, Linkin Park, Regina Spektor, Led Zeppelin and so on.

In its movie store, Google has nothing from Fox (“Ice Age,” “X-Men,” “Avatar,” and so on) or Summit (the “Twilight” movies). Its TV store lacks anything from CBS, Fox, WB, HBO, BBC, MTV/Nickelodeon, Showtime, Discovery Networks, A&E/History. So: no “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “Gossip Girl,” “Family Guy” and so on.Most damaging of all, there are precious few tablet-specific apps in Google’s store. There are hundreds of thousands for the iPad."

----

Re. profit, unless we think that you know more than Andy Rubin does, we should be inclined to go with him: http://www.bgr.com/2012/06/28/nexus-7-sales-profit-cost-google-android/

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

In your useless anonymous opinion, sure. I always forget you're the time traveling tech and legal authority. /s  Sure it would assumingly sell better, destroy? Hardly, unless you're admitting people are not buying the iPad to buy the Nexus.

Ummm.... if any one is hiding behind anonymity, it's you.

 

I think I have a pretty good idea as to what jragosta's name is.

post #36 of 63

Is it possible that Amazon is not really trying to corner the consumer market, but fabrication capacity instead?  Reducing factory bandwidth for Apple's competing product (if, in fact, it even exists)?

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post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post

Is it possible that Amazon is not really trying to corner the consumer market, but fabrication capacity instead?  Reducing factory bandwidth for Apple's competing product (if, in fact, it even exists)?

Highly unlikely. Apple will probably have locked it well into place before even contemplating such a product. Not only does their cash position allow them to make such pre-emptive moves, but also don't forget that, unlike Amazon, Apple has been in the manufacturing business for over three decades. Surely, they've learnt a thing or two.

post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

The iPad already is. The "mini" serves no purpose.

Wrong.

 

I have seen many people express a desire for a 7" form factor ipad made by Apple. They (and myself) would appreciate the improved portability, lower weight and likely lower price it would bring, and it would also have the Apple quality and ecosystem to make the whole package more appealing than Amazon or Google or whoevers offerings. IMO the "mini" ipad has a definite spot in the lineup and would be a fantastic success.

post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by faZZter View Post
Wrong.

 

Sorry, "it would be terrible to use and worse at absolutely everything the iPad does than the iPad". Better?

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Let's see if I've got this right...

 

  1. Amazon will offer more models/SKUs at various attractive price points
  2. This will cause Stick and Stucco stores like Target, BestBuy, etc. to allocate more/better shelf space
  3. This will increase store traffic
  4. While at the store, the shopper will check out other products of interest
  5. Then, the shopper will "Showroom" the products he likes
  6. --- and buy them for less money at the Amazon web site

 

What Stick and Stucco store wouldn't kill to do this kind of merchandising?

 

That's what I was driving at, albeit, much more briefly. I think "merchandising" is a great thing.

 

Thanks for elaborating on the point.

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