This morning, Amazon sent out a mass email to a lot of media types, telling them that the Kindle Fire has sold out. That’s right. You can no longer get a brand new touch-based tablet from the online retail giant directly. There are non-Amazon sellers still offering the Kindle Fire, but the device is officially sold out. Or, so Amazon says.
This announcement comes on the heels of a recent announcement that Amazon will be holding a major press conference on September 6, where it is rumored that the company will announce a new model of the Kindle Fire. The sellout of the current model assumes that Amazon preplanned the supply shortage a long time ago.
The online retail store released the Kindle Fire last November to much fanfare. It was being called an “iPad killer” and, although it didn’t really make a dent in sales of Apple’s 10-inch device, it did capture 22 percent of the market share, making it the second most popular tablet around.
Rumors have been heating up over the past few months that Apple will be announcing the release of an iPad mini. Although there is no official word, the signs all point to a smaller tablet in Apple’s future. The reason the iPad maker had a change of heart this year may be due in part to the fact that the Kindle Fire, as well as other low-cost smaller tablets, did so well on the market.
If Apple does release a smaller iPad, and let’s face it, they will, it will have a preexisting market to compete in. The Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and Google’s newest entrant – the Nexus 7, are all selling at much lower than Apple could possibly sell their device for. Consumers will expect a $200 iPad, but there is no way Apple could deliver the quality of the iPad at the price of the Kindle Fire.
The iPad had no one to compete with when it hit the market in 2010. The iPad mini will have a much harder time competing in a market where devices have already set the price standard below what Apple can produce. It may have won the full-sized tablet race, but how popular will 10-inch devices be in a few years?