Going out in a Blaze of Glory
The Kindle Fire, while it may not have been so popular with the tech set, has proved several things. There can be a successful rival to the iPad, aiming for the budget market is a key to success, and having a strong ecosystem is vital. By announcing the unit as Sold Out, Amazon has all but confirmed a sucessor is just a week away.
There are still some used models available on the store, but long ago Google cottoned onto Amazon's scheme and came out with the Nexus 7, while Apple too has bowed to the inevitable and will release an iPad Mini, likely in October. Microsoft's Windows RT tablets are likely to compete in this space, making Amazon's upgrade a pretty important turning point.
Will existing Amazon users, who aren't obsessed over the latest tech specs, upgrade theirs to the new model? Will the wide range of choice this Christmas see Amazon's market share diluted, and that essential content revenue go to others?
With the huge range of devices coming out or being announced next month, every marketing note has to be pitch perfect, every feature has to appeal, no space can be wasted, and every dollar on the price could count against a product.
Amazon's major advantage is that most users are by and large only after the content. The format they play it on just happens to be a tablet. Will improved screen resolution or processor performance really matter. Or will Amazon have some new super Prime content deals to encourage upgrading and new users?
One thing Amazon will almost certainly do is launch the Kindle Fire 2 in more territories to bag as much of these new markets as it can before rival devices have time to launch. To that end, Amazon has opened Amazon Appstores in several European territories including the U.K and Germany, with free paid-for apps offered on a daily basis. Wherever Kindle Fire 2 does launch, expect pre-orders to go through the roof.