Amazon to Lose ~$50 per Kindle Fire Sold, Apple Gets ~$150 per iPad 2 Sold
September 29, 2011 8:12 AM
comment(s) - last by
Despite losses, strategy could pay off for the enterprising Android tablet maker
Yesterday, following Amazon.com, Inc.'s (
big tablet reveal
, Gene Munster, a Piper-Jaffray analyst known for his estimates of Apple, Inc.'s (
) sales, sent out a research note comparing the profitability of Apple's $500 iPad 2 with Amazon's $200 Kindle.
Mr. Munster estimated that the iPad 2 was turning a profit of 30 percent of its MSRP, while Amazon would lose $50 per Kindle Fire sold. However, he didn't provide a specific source of his figures or much of an explanation.
We dug into this a bit more. It turns out that
did teardowns [
this year's iPad 2
last year's Galaxy Tab
from Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
's numbers are hardly infallible, but given that the LCD market hasn't move much price-wise in the last year, for tablet screens, it can be assumed that the Galaxy Tab's 7-inch display cost in the bill-of-materials gives a good estimate of what the LCD touch-screen unit on the Kindle Fire costs. Combining this with the extra cost of the iPad 2's largest amount of onboard NAND memory, we estimate that the difference is indeed in the neighborhood of $100.
So what does this mean for Amazon.com -- and for Apple? Well, for Apple it's a testament of
how valuable the company's brand is
. Apple can have its cake and eat it too. It can sell a grossly marked up device, and at the same time post the kind of huge sales that brings in strong auxiliary revenue streams such as app sales and advertising revenue.
Apple doesn't have to offer big price cuts to get customers to bite.
[source: Entercom Digital Dev Blog]
Amazon.com isn't that fortunate. Despite arguably launching the consumer tablet with its Kindle e-Reader, Amazon.com has yet to establish itself as a major competitor in the new tablet market, which has been dominated by Apple and Samsung.
In order to gain ground Amazon.com appears to be adopting an approach similar to console makers in that it's
pocketing a loss up front
, in order to persuade early adopters to jump on board, leading to overall positive revenue via the auxiliary revenue streams.
Overall this approach could pay off for Amazon.com. The Kindle Fire is currently the cheapest fully functional Android tablet device on the market and its software offers nice differentiation over competive offerings.
Amazon pockets 30 percent of app sales revenue. And it gets $79 for its Amazon Prime membership, which it's promo-ing on the tablet (which provides users with streaming movies and TV episodes). If it can get one in every two customers to bite on the Amazon Prime membership, and get the average customer to spend $33 on apps over the device lifetime, it's broken even. If it can do
data mining on the users' web-browsing
, or sell users some of its massive ebook collecton, it will likely turn a profit (under the above scenario).
In short, the "fire-sale" price of Amazon.com might not be such a crazy idea after all. Maybe Hewlett-Packard Company (
) unwittingly stumbled onto the secret to tablet success after all,
during its TouchPad fire-sale
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: It does have a sweet price point
9/29/2011 6:12:38 PM
You nailed it. There is a massive difference between reading on e-paper and a backlit LCD. If you want to read books the Kindle is the device for doing that, anything else is not well suited for that. The Fire is better for everything else except reading books. I have a Kindle, and even if I didn't already have an iPad I wouldn't be interested in getting a Fire for reading, LCDs just aren't as good for that.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
Amazon's New "Silk" Browser Gets Speedy Mobile Browsing Via the Cloud
September 28, 2011, 2:44 PM
Amazon Launches $199, 7" Kindle Fire Tablet
September 28, 2011, 9:58 AM
16GB, 32GB HP TouchPads Drop to $99, $149 Starting Tomorrow
August 19, 2011, 8:02 PM
Top 100 Brands Survey Names Apple Most Valuable Brand
May 9, 2011, 10:03 AM
Apple Announces iPad 2
March 2, 2011, 1:15 PM
iPad Sales Shrink, Apple CEO Chides Hybrid Tablets, Android, and Microsoft
April 24, 2014, 1:38 PM
FDA Proposes Regulations, Health Warnings for Electronic Cigarettes
April 24, 2014, 9:00 AM
Apple Rakes in $10.2B Profit for Fiscal Q2; Announces 7-for-1 Stock Split
April 23, 2014, 4:39 PM
The Price is Right: OnePlus One Packs Hot Spec for Only $299
April 23, 2014, 3:37 PM
Google Unveils Solar Panel Lease Plan for Homeowners
April 23, 2014, 9:56 AM
Quick Note: Apple Invites Companies to “Copy” Its Environmental Record
April 22, 2014, 7:58 AM
Most Popular Articles
A Bug's Life: Female Cave Bugs Have Penises, Penetrate Males for Three Days
April 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
HTC Hires Former Samsung Marketing Chief Who Developed "Galaxy" Brand
April 18, 2014, 6:00 PM
NASA Finds "Habitable Zone" Planet Sized Similar to Earth
April 18, 2014, 3:13 PM
Dotcom Bomb: U.S. Case Against Megaupload is Crumbling
April 22, 2014, 6:00 PM
Thanks to Government Crackdown, Chinese "Porn Cop" Has Watched 600K Adult Videos
April 21, 2014, 12:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information