Amazon.com Inc. introduced a $50 tablet Thursday, which price tag analysts said is low enough to set it apart and draw in customers to its online services.
The new 7-inch Fire tablet released Thursday is selling for $49.99, which is much cheaper than the cheapest version of the iPad Mini 2, which costs $269, or the iPad. It is even cheaper than Amazon’s Fire HD 6, which is going for the affordable price of $99.99.
Amazon says the Fire tablet’s latest installment is twice as durable as the iPad and has been confirmed with “tumble tests,” LA Times reports. And they are hoping to sell the product in bulk.
Get this: if you buy five tablets, you get the sixth on free. So six tablets would cost you $249.95. That is less than the price of one iPad Mini 2.
“There’s one part of the tablet (market) that’s growing right now, and…that’s sub-$100 tablets,” David Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices, said. He added that the $99 Fire HD was Amazon’s best-selling tablet in 2014, according to Reuters.
Forrester principal analyst James McQuivey said that the lesson they learned “from consumer electronics is that when the market matures, consumers go cheaper.” “If you’re Amazon and you know this is going to happen, you might as well join in,” he said.
Amazon also hopes to get consumers involved in Amazon’s video streaming and shopping services via Amazon Prime, which is the company’s $99-a-year online shopping program with approximately 40 million members. Limp said that “our tablet focus is in and around content consumption,” according to the Associated Press. McQuivey called the $50 tablet a “gateway drug” for Amazon to attract customers to Prime.
News of the new tablet comes just in time for the holiday season. It also comes after Amazon reportedly laid off several engineers who worked on Amazon’s first smartphone, LA Times reports.
Of course the Fire phone didn’t turn out so great. It’s basically nonexistent at this point, and it only cost the company $170 million.
Amazon also announced its new updates to its Fire TV Thursday.