Ahead of an expected launch of a new upgraded Kindle Fire, Internet retailer Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN) has said that its first edition of the Kindle fire has been sold out.
Tech circles are taking this to mean that the company has stopped production of its debut tablet PC and that the next Kindle Fire is just around the corner. The company has called for a press conference on September 6, and speculation has been rife that the company will be unveiling its next tablet PC and maybe also a smartphone.
The Kindle Fire, which marked Amazon’s entry into the tablet PC segment, was launched in November last year with a price tag of $199 and has been offering stiff competition to Google’s Nexus 7, which it followed.
It was the first Kindle with a colour screen and the ability to run third-party applications, placing it in competition with Apple iPad, at half the price of the cheapest iPad.
There are no details about how many Kindle Fires have been sold but according to Amazon it has about 22 percent share of the market. That makes it the second-most popular tablet, after the iPad. Research firm IDC had said that 6.7 million Fires have been sold, all in the U.S.
The Fire, which is half of the size of the iPad could have a tougher competition this year especially if Apple launches a cheaper iPad Mini. The new kindle Fire is expected to have a larger screen at 10 inches and that is supposed to have an edge over the normal iPad, due to the pricing difference.
Amazon had kept the price of the Kindle Fire low by keeping it small, stripping it of features and taking a small or zero profit margins. Its strategy is to make the Fire a means for people to buy more e-books, music and movie downloads from the Amazon store, which is intimately linked to the device.
Apple has sold more than 84 million iPads since its debut in 2010, contributing to strong quarterly earnings and a market valuation that has exceeded $625 billion.