Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets are already among the most affordable Android tablets on the market in the US, with prices for a new Kindle Fire 2 starting at $159. But TechCrunch is reporting that prices could drop a whole lot lower.
According to TechCrunch, a $99 Kindle Fire HD could be on the way.
Update: Amazon tells Slashgear it’s not happening… although there’s a bit of room for interpretation as to what exactly isn’t happening.
The tablet is rumored to feature a 7 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display and Texas Instruments OMAP processor, much like the $199 Kindle Fire HD Amazon currently offers.
That would probably spell the end for the company’s non-HD tablets (today’s cheapest model has a 1024 x 600 pixel display). It could also make a serious dent in the overall tablet market.
While Amazon’s tablets run a custom version of Android with tight integration to Amazon’s app, music, movie, and book stores, they compete with Android and iOS tablets from Apple, Acer, Asus, Samsung, and other companies which typically charge much higher prices for their tablets.
At $99, Amazon’s new tablet would be priced more like some of the cheapest Chinese tablets sold by sites such as PandaWill, AsiaPads, Chinagrabber and others, as well as the white box Chinese tablets you find in drugstores, on eBay, and at other retail and e-tail outlets in the US.
Right now Amazon’s $99 tablet is just a rumor. But it’s a rather interesting one — especially since hackers haven’t found an Amazon tablet they couldn’t install custom ROMs on to offer a full Android experience yet.