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Amazon to release $50 Fire tablet in time for Christmas after top price devices flopped

Published 08/09/2015

Amazon’s Fire smartphone flopped last year
Amazon’s Fire smartphone flopped last year

Amazon is reportedly releasing a $50 tablet with a 6-inch screen in time for Christmas.

Amazon’s newest tablet will be one of the cheapest on the market and undercut the price of its own Fire HD 6-inch tablet by more than half, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The cheap price of the new tablet will take its toll on quality. Insiders have suggested it could have a mono instead of a stereo speaker, for example.

Jeff Bezos, the Amazon boss, has said that Amazon prefers to sell services, like books and movies, rather than make money on devices. The cost of the Kindle’s ink-like screen had stopped the price of the device from creeping under $50. The cheapest Kindle at the moment is $79, while the cheapest Fire tablet has a 6-inch screen and sells for $99.

Amazon’s Fire smartphone flopped last year when the company confounded expectations that it would release a cheap tablet and instead priced its new device to match Apple’s iPhone, without any of Apple’s cult appeal. When price-cuts couldn’t save it, Amazon absorbed $170 million in unsold handsets and laid off dozens of engineers.

Amazon has now come full-circle with the cheaper device, which builds the company’s business around the services it can sell once the consumer has bought the cheaper reader.

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