What’s Next After the Kindle Fire

So the Kindle Fire is out in force in the U.S. and its the tablet device that hackers have been most excited about. Why? You can root it and install all the Google apps, including the Android Market. But where does Amazon go next?

The tablet was never intended to be a loner; there was always going to be a range of Amazon devices to join it – well, that’s what the rumours were when they first started. So what will Amazon’s next step be? The latest rumour is that the UK will not even get our hands on the original Kindle Fire, and we will have to wait for its successor before we can play with the hotly anticipated tablet. Hopefully for UK customers that is just a rumour though.

What about an Amazon smartphone? That was another rumour thrown about when Amazon first started looking at some Android devices.

A research report out this morning by Citi analysts Mark Mahaney and Kevin Chang states that an “Amazon smartphone may be coming next year.”

The report, based on supply-chain checks with hardware manufacturers in China, shows that Citi believes Amazon is developing the smartphone with Foxconn, but that the phone itself will be manufactured by TMS (the same company that produces the Kindle line).

The processor chips that will power the phone are believed to be Texas Instruments OMAP 4 processor and a Qualcomm “dual mode 6-series standalone baseband” (HSPA+ / CDMA EVDO).

Apparently we are looking at estimated hardware costs of arround $150 to $170, which will turn out to be a mid-range smartphone which could retail for $300 or less. But Amazon will likely subsidise much of the costs to make it even more competitive just as it did with the $200 Kindle Fire. “What is important to note is that Amazon does not need to make money on hardware,” writes Mahaney and Chang.

Amazon makes its money after the hardware has been purchased with content downloads and such.

Would you be interested in an Amazon smartphone, it could be a very good investment for the company if the Fire does well.

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