IHS: Amazon Kindle Fire costs $201.70 to make

amazon-kindle-fireIndustry analysis firm IHS iSuppli has completed its preliminary teardown report on the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, and finds a total bill of materials (BOM) for the device sums up to $186.50. When coupled with manufacturing expenses, Amazon’s total cost for a Fire tablet is $201.70—some $2.70 more than the $199 Amazon is charging for the device.

“The Kindle Fire, at a retail price point of $199, is sold at a loss by Amazon, just as the basic Kindle is also sold at a loss at the current $79 retail price point,” said IHS senior director of teardown services Andrew Rassweiler, in a statement.

Amazon has repeatedly indicated that it hopes to make a small profit on hardware sales of devices further down the road, but the company’s goal is really to foster an ecosystem where users buy content for their devices, whether that be movies, television shows, apps, or (of course) ebooks. Due to expected revenue from content sales, Amazon is willing to sell the devices at a bit of a loss, and (going forward) at lower margins than typical device manufacturers.

The teardown cost analysis of the Kindle Fire highlights the contrasting business approaches of Amazon and Apple in the tablet market to date. Although Apple earns some money from the sales of apps, music, movies, books, and other content through iTunes, those figures have always been tiny compared to the money the company earns through hardware sales: despite everything, Apple remains first and foremost a hardware company. Amazon, conversely, is in the business of selling content, and its Kindle ereaders (and now Kindle Fire tablet) are offered essentially as portals into Amazon’s content ecosystem—where the company hopes to earn its money.

It’s important to note that while IHS’s estimate of the cost of the Kindle includes manufacturing costs and estimated prices of individual components, it does not represent the substantial investment in research and development that Amazon had to put into the Kindle Fire to make it a reality. In the Fire’s case, that’s much more than slapping Android into a device and pushing it out the door: it involves a whole new interface for the Fire device, as well as Amazon’s own cloud-assisted Web browser, Silk.


Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.

Today’s best Amazon deals: Instant Pot, Dyson, and Ring

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but for retail giants like Amazon, the savings are only getting started. We've scoured the depths of Amazon to find you the very best deals going on right now.

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast returns to Amazon just in time for the holiday shopping crunch

It's been a chilly few years between Google and Amazon, but things may be improving. You can now buy two versions of Google's Chromecast on Amazon, something that hasn't be possible since 2015.

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.

Black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.