Amazon could be preparing to launch as many as four new tablets this year, with the cheapest models running as little as $169. That’s how much the company typically charges for a refurbished Kindle Fire, but it’s also the price of a Barnes & Noble NOOK Color.

Amazon Kindle Fire

There’s little doubt at this point that Amazon is working on some sort of follow-up to the popular 7 inch Kindle Fire tablet. But we’re kind of drowning in rumors at the moment.

Yesterday we heard that there would be two new 7 inch models and one with an 8.9 inch screen.

Today DigiTimes reports that the 8.9 inch model isn’t a done deal, but there will be two 7 inch  tablets and one with a 10.1 inch display.

Sprinkle grains of salt as necessary.

But if you put the rumors together, it looks like we could see a 7 inch tablet much like the current Kindle Fire for $169, and a higher-priced 7 inch model with a higher resolution 1280 x 800 pixel display.

Meanwhile the 10.1 inch tablet is expected to sell for between $249 and $299.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets are designed to do for the company’s digital music, movie, and app stores what the Kindle eReader has done for eBooks — give customers a chap device for accessing the content, possibly prompting people to spend more money on digital goods.

That’s why Amazon’s Kindle products are generally priced much lower than Android tablets or eBook readers from competitors. The company can afford to lose money on the hardware if it makes it up on software and digital content sales.

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6 replies on “Amazon’s next-gen tablets could start at $169”

  1. I am not even sure what advantage would a 10″ model have for Amazon’s purposes.

    Reading PDFs would be of course, much better, but Amazon wouldn’t like to support that since they are interested in selling their own content which is formatted to be comfortably readable on 7″ screens.

    Actually, for such a dumbed-down application like a dedicated Amazon services client, even that dual-core OMAP4 processor is an overkill but they surely wanted to play the spec-game.

  2. And remember, that since Amazon’s hardware is sold as loss leaders to push content sales they cripple it so discourage buying it for any other purpose.  No external media, DRM, etc.

    1. No external media? I put external media on my Kindle Fire all the time, especially podcasts, mobi documents and PDFs. It works great for audio streaming too. The recent OS update makes using websites even better. A slightly larger Fire will freaking rock and no I won’t have to root it or jailbreak it or whatever the kids are doing to it nowadays.

  3. Will a $20 drop in price produce many new buyers for the basic Kindle Fire?  Doubt it.

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