New Kindle Fire Could MAKE OR BREAK Amazon

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle has grown significantly since its release in 2007 as a pure e-book reader with its eye-friendly black-and-white screen. Instead, the new Kindle Fire HD features a 1280-by-800 LCD screen, 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory, the ability to play movies, and a sleeker body. It has transformed from an e-reader into a tablet computer. As the Kindle’s functions have grown more diverse, its sales figures have also grown since its initial release, even though Amazon declines to give exact figures.

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Digitimes Research senior analyst James Wang predicts combined shipments of the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD will reach 5 million units by the end of the year. However, Digitimes estimates that the 8.9-inch tablet will account for only 2.2 million units of this year’s sales, and 3.5 to 4 million total shipments before the product is phased out of the market. After its release in November 2007, the first generation Kindle sold out in a little more than five hours.

The budding competition between Amazon’s Kindle, which runs Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, and Google’s Nexus makes Amazon’s sales predictions of particular note. “The Kindle is a key brick in their house,” said Slalom Consulting analyst Dan Maycock in a statement. “Amazon needs the Kindle to continue to be as successful as they have been.”

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