$169 Kindle Fire said to be in the cards

— 6:00 AM on March 30, 2012

If you thought Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire was a bargain, you might be pleasantly surprised later this year. Quoting "industry sources," the folks at DigiTimes say Amazon might be planning to offer a 7" device with a price tag of just $169:

In addition to a 7-inch model that will be priced at about US$199 with shipments to start at the end of the second quarter, Amazon is also soliciting quotes for another 7-inch model to be priced at US$169 for the entry-level segment, indicated the sources, but adding that makers in the supply chain are reluctant to offer quotes for low-margin hardware products.

One wonders just how much of a profit—or a loss—Amazon would turn on such a cheap device. Last October, IHS worked out that Amazon didn't even break even on the $199 Kindle Fire. The device was said to cost $191.65 in parts, excluding "manufacturing expenses" of $17.98. Even accounting for per-device sales of digital content, the research firm said each Kindle Fire probably resulted in a net profit of $10 for Amazon.

In related news, DigiTimes claims Amazon also has a $249-299 tablet with a 10.1" screen in the works. Shipments of that model are reportedly scheduled for July, so perhaps we might see it debut commercially in the late summer or early fall.

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