Rumors on a cheaper Kindle Fire tablet started doing the rounds today after TechCrunch reported that Amazon was working on the model with a view to shipping it later in the year.
“We’re now hearing that a $99 Kindle Fire 7-inch tablet is in production, and will be shipping this year,” read the report, which didn’t detail where it received the information from.
The article claimed that the model would still feature the Texas Instruments processor (as in other Kindle Fires) and the 1280 x 800 resolution display, which also sits on the current Kindle Fire HD.
IDC analyst Tom Mainelli added weight to the feature by telling the source that such a model would be “entirely possible”, at least for Amazon.
“The infrastructure is definitely in place for Amazon to go even lower,” said Mainelli. “It’s entirely possible – physically possible – to create a device that costs $99, particularly at the scale that Amazon would do it.”
But the rumor was given a short shrift by Amazon, with a spokesperson hinting that the company can’t go much lower on hardware prices than the current $129 charged for the entry-level Kindle Fire.
"It's not happening – we are already at the lowest price points possible for that hardware," said the spokesperson, in an email exchange with PCMag.
This isn’t the first time speculation on a sub-$100 tablet from a top-tier brand has spread. Rumors have before claimed that Asus and Google are working on a $99 model, while Acer's Iconia B1 was expected to arrive at the same value before eventually debuting for the slightly inflated $130.