Kindle Fire sales continue at Amazon as hype builds for Apple's next iPads
In recent weeks, Amazon has held a number of sales on its Kindle Fire lineup, and on Thursday the company's refurbished 8.9-inch model was discounted by $60, as the online retailer continues its efforts to carve away market share from Apple's iPad.
As Thursday's Goldbox Deal of the Day, Amazon is offering refurbished 16-gigabyte 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD models for just $179, or 25 percent off their regular price. The sale is also $90 less than the cost of a new model with "special offers."
The one-day sale also applies to the 32-gigabyte 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, which is available for $199 refurbished, or $70 off the regular price. A brand new 32-gigabyte 8.9-inch model has a regular price of $299 with Amazon's "offers."
Amazon's recent Kindle Fire sales come after the retailer failed to crack the top five tablet makers in the second quarter of calendar 2013. For that three-month frame, Apple was once again the market leader having shipped 14.6 million units, while Samsung, Asus, Lenovo and Acer all rounded out the top five.
Thursday's Goldbox sale is just the latest in a series of discounts Amazon has held in recent weeks and months for its Kindle Fire lineup. Typically, the discounts have applied to the smaller and less expensive 7-inch model.
For most of August, the entry-level 7-inch Kindle Fire HD was priced at $159 in a limited-time sale. That discount has returned temporarily a few times, according to price tracking data at Decide.com.
Meanwhile, the 16-gigabyte 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD was given a permanent price drop from $299 to $269 in March. Discounts in late July dropped the price of new models to as low as $215.
Amazon's Kindle Fire devices run a forked version of Google's Android operating system, with assorted services pointing back to Amazon instead of to Google. The company's profit margins on the devices are thought to be slim-to-nonexistent, with Amazon's aim being to make money on services attached to the tablets, such as video streaming and e-book sales.
It's expected that Amazon will release new Kindle Fire models this fall, when Apple is also apparently planning to launch updated versions of its market leading iPad lineup.
Apple's full-size iPad is expected to see a redesign this fall, with a new thinner side bezel and lighter weight, adopting traits from the popular iPad mini. And the iPad mini itself will also be updated, potentially with a Retina display, according to rumors.
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities has also speculated that Apple could combat lower-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7 by continuing to sell the non-Retina iPad mini at a lower price this fall. He doesn't expect that new entry-level model to be considerably cheaper than the current iPad mini pricing strategy, starting at $329 for a 16-gigabyte model.