According to a DigiTimes report this week, electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn has received an order for the new device from Amazon. The report also states that shipments of the 10-inch tablet would begin in the second quarter of this year.
If the DigiTimes report proves to be correct, it demonstrates Amazon’s growing confidence in the tablet market, a market where few companies have up to now succeeded.
Only Apple and Amazon appear to have sold tablets in any great amount, with Apple dominating the market, having sold more than 55 million iPads since its launch in 2010.
Though Amazon hasn’t released detailed figures regarding sales of its new Fire tablet, it declared last December as being the “best holiday ever” for its range of Kindle devices, which includes the Fire.
Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan estimated that the online book giant sold some six million Kindle Fire tablets in the fourth quarter, a figure made all the more impressive by the fact that the device only launched in November, and then only in the US. By comparison, Apple shifted 15.4 million iPads in its last quarter.
Though sales of the Kindle Fire may look good, its low price tag of just $199 means that it’s likely selling at a slight loss. Where Amazon makes its money is by drawing the Fire users into the company’s ecosystem and making it simple for them to use the tablet to purchase books, music, movies and other items.
A 10-inch Kindle Fire would compete more directly with the Cupertino company’s iPad, which has a 9.7-inch screen size, though unless a 10-inch Fire comes with more bells and whistles, the two devices will still occupy different ends of the tablet market.
Apple, meanwhile, looks to be doing its best to stay ahead of the game with the likely launch of the iPad 3 in the coming weeks.