Amazon’s highly successful $200 tablet, the Kindle Fire, is set to get a successor sometime this summer. We don’t know much about it, and some are speculating that it’ll have a 10 inch screen, but one thing we can now confirm is that it’ll be made by Foxconn. This is important for two key reasons. First, it isn’t a coincidence that the Kindle Fire looks like a BlackBerry Playbook. Amazon basically rushed the Kindle Fire out to market, so they went with an off the shelf design that was already being built by the folks at Quanta. Second, why do you think the Amazon Kindle Fire is only on sale in the United States? Amazon (read: Quanta) can’t make enough of them, and Amazon wants to wait until they can build a better product, which is where Foxconn comes in. Their factories have enough capacity and the required tooling to ship a next generation Kindle to not just the United States, but also key European and Asian markets.
So besides size, and hopefully design, where else does Amazon compete? The obvious answer is the right answer: price. We don’t know what Apple plans to do with the pricing of the iPad 2 once they introduce the iPad 3 next month, but that’ll surely be an indicator of where Amazon wants to go with the Kindle Fire 2 price tag. Also, we don’t know how much cheaper the first generation Kindle will be this summer. It wouldn’t be terribly difficult to imagine the first gen Fire hitting $179 and then have the second gen coming in at $279. Again, all of this depends on how Apple changes iPad pricing.
Should you be excited? Well duh, of course you should, Amazon’s business model isn’t to rape your wallet and pocket a 40% margin on hardware. That’s what Apple does. Amazon’s all about making you buy stuff from their store. They practically sell the Fire at a loss just to make you one of their customers.