I have been an Amazon Prime subscriber for a few years now. I find huge value in it because of the number of items I order each year more than offset the subscription price as I take advantage of the free two-day shipping.
On top of that I also use the Prime Video and Music services to gain additional value in the subscription price.
That also means I will shop at Amazon even when I can not take advantage of Prime shipping because it has become my habitual portal for easily finding items.
So today, as Amazon has announced their latest line up of Fire tablets, they are banking on shopping by association as they are offering a six-pack of their low end tablet for just $250 - which is an overall savings of $50 or six tablets for the price of five.
The device has some very decent specs for users who need a simple device for the web, email and entertainment:
- 7" IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600)
- 1.3 GHz quad-core processor
- Rear (2MP) and front-facing (VGA) cameras
- New Amazon Underground app store. Includes over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items that are free
- Has access to over 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games
- 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices
- Can use a microSD card to get up to 128GB of extra on device storage
- 7 hours of battery life
- Supports web browsing, email and calendaring
So why offer them at such a huge discount?
Simple - it is a gateway to you spending more money on Amazon products and services and they are banking on the user choosing to select products and services from the company instead of other online outlets. They can lose money on the hardware and profit from the sales that come from the tablet owners purchases.
This is the same reason they built the Fire Phone but that experiment did not end well for Amazon as they recently stopped selling the device and reports indicate they only sold about 13,000 of the handsets.
With this new entry level Fire Tablet, Amazon does not have to solely depend upon a users purchases because the device includes sponsored screensavers. If you want to avoid those you can customize your tablet and remove them for an additional fee of $15.
I have a Kindle with the sponsored screensavers but they do not bother me one way or another nor do they get in the way of using the device. Saving $15 is a no-brainer for me.
These new inexpensive Fire tablets are WiFi only so there is no contractual obligation to get cellular service to own the device so that removes another hurdle for the masses to purchase the tablet.
I have one of these tablets pre-ordered for delivery on 30 September, which is its availability date, so expect to hear more from me on the value of this device and the services it provides.