When I first laid hands on the Kindle Fire, I was blown away. Not because of Amazon’s surprising ingenuity in the tablet industry, but rather because of the fluidity of the device, knowing its price tag. A $199 tablet to me sounded like those cheap capacitive touch screen devices that take 20 seconds to turn off. But not the Fire, no not at all. It was then that I realized Apple had a contender and it stood a fair chance. Primarily because Amazon, unlike others who tried and failed (Blackberry with the Playbook and HP with the Touchpad), competed with the price and not the product. But here’s the thing. I think Apple had a plan all along.
There’s no doubt about it. An iPad 3 is coming Q1 of this year. Of course, this will most likely be priced with the normal $499 up tag. But it’s what Apple might do with the iPad 2 that would give the Kindle Fire and the rest of the low-end tablet market a run for their money. DigiTimes reported a projection this past Tuesday that Apple will keep the iPad 2 available after launching a third-generation model. Then, they’d sell the iPad 2 at a much lower price; similar to what the company currently does with the iPhone. A price drop to at least $399 is expected. Or, Apple could go hard and shave to lower the price down an extra $50-$100, arriving at a potential price tag of $349 or even $299. In other words, there would be no more reason to get the Kindle Fire over the iPad unless the screen is too big or you simply hate Apple. Regardless, a $299 iPad 2 would give Apple dominance in both the low-end and high-end tablet markets.
With that said, I think that it’s fair to say that Amazon is fast approaching hot waters in terms of making their mark in the tablet industry. Then again, with reports that the company is selling the Kindle Fire for a loss, they might be in it already. Whether that be the case or not, watch out Kindle Fire. A $299 iPad 2 might shake things up a bit.