The Kindle Fire
turned out to be a popular device largely because of its comparatively low price tag. it was the first sub-$200 tablet (by a buck) that didn't feel like a $25 device you'd expect to find in a Fisher Price catalog, and as a result, Amazon
closed out the fourth quarter of 2011 with a 14 percent share
of the global tablet market, second only to Apple's
iPad line. So what will Amazon do for a second act?
Perhaps build a better tablet that doesn't skimp on as many features as the original Kindle Fire, while still being affordable. According a report in the China Times
, Amazon is getting Foxconn involved with the production of the Kindle Fire 2, which could launch as early as May or June of this year. This is important for a couple of reasons.
For one, it allows Amazon to build a more customized device. The general consensus is that Quanta rushed the Kindle Fire to market by copying the design of Research In Motion's PlayBook, which Quanta also produces. The component selection largely belonged to Quanta, which left out some important features, like built-in cameras, a memory card slot, and USB and HDMI connectivity, to name just a few.
By tapping into Foxconn's resources for the Kindle Fire 2, Amazon can take the reigns in selecting and certifying components. The goal is still to offer a lower price tablet that's integrated into Amazon's own ecosystem, but with Amazon willing to take a loss on hardware sales and Foxconn getting involved with production, the Kindle Fire 2 could end up being a much better device.