Amazon is set to launch a low-cost ($50) tablet ahead of the Christmas 2015 holiday sales period, according to reports.
While the company has previously offered a number of competitively-priced devices, the mooted tablet would be half the cost of its current low-end device – the $99 Fire HD 6. And the specification mooted by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is not a million miles away from the existing device.
Such a device would be targeted at “buyers looking for a simple – and effectively disposable – device for straightforward tasks like streaming video at home and shopping on Amazon.com”, the paper said. The aim is to lure cost-conscious device buyers, with the company then making more money through content sales.
However, in order to bring the device to market at such a price point, component costs will need to be tightly controlled, meaning compromises in areas such as the screen, speakers, processor and memory. But in order to avoid poor customer reception, the company will still need to deliver an acceptable user experience.
WSJ said that Amazon is leaning heavily on Chinese partners for the 6-inch tablet.
Last month, it was said that Amazon had shelved some of its hardware projects – with its failed Fire smartphone team cut heavily – as it refocused its efforts in areas where it is more likely to succeed. A large-screen tablet bit the dust, although it is also believed to have not given up totally on smartphones.
According to the report, the launch would form part of a product refresh which would also include larger-screen devices (8-inch and 10-inch), in-line with Amazon’s traditional pre-Christmas refresh.