Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) announced, on May 18, 2022, its next generation Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids tablets. Available to order now with shipment to begin on June 29, 2022, prices for these devices start at $59.99 and $109.99, respectively. making them ultra-cheap alternatives to the iPad mini from Apple Inc. (AAPL), which starts at $449.

Exactly what the revenue and profit impact of the new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids will be for Amazon is uncertain at this early stage. However, the new Fire 7 promises significant upgrades in functionality for only a small increase in price ($10) versus the previous model, introduced three years ago.1 While Apple and Samsung dominate this popular market with global market shares of 31.5% and 21.1%, respectively, in Q1 2022, Amazon is in contention with a 9.6% share that puts it in third place. Total units shipped in that quarter were just over 38 million.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Amazon has announced its new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids tablets, with shipments starting on June 29, 2022.
  • With respective starting prices of $59.99 and $109.99, Amazon’s tablets are positioned as budget alternatives to the Apple iPad mini, which starts at $449.
  • The new Fire 7 offers significant performance upgrades from its prior release, in 2019, for a price increase of just $10.

Key Fire 7 Upgrades

The new Fire 7 and Fire 7 Kids offer 40% longer battery life (at up to 10 hours), double the random access memory (RAM), and 30% faster responsiveness than the previous Fire 7, which was introduced in 2019. The new Fire 7 also has a 7-inch touchscreen, as its name suggests, with a 1024 x 600 resolution. Tumble tests also indicate that it is twice as durable as the latest iPad mini, released in 2021. Moreover, the Fire 7 Kids features a special kid-proof case.

On the downside, the new Fire 7 has two cameras, one facing front and the other back, that offer a resolution of just 2 megapixels (MP). However, this is an obvious tradeoff for its low price. It also offers 720-pixel high definition (HD) video recording for photos and video calls.

Other Features

Amazon positions the new Fire 7 as particularly suited for entertainment purposes, such as: streaming or downloading movies or TV shows; using popular apps like TikTok; making Zoom or Alexa calls; connecting with friends through Facebook or Instagram; browsing the web; reading eBooks, including content that is also available on Amazon’s Kindle reader; or playing games.

The new Fire also is integrated with Amazon’s voice-activated Alexa. This allows users to use voice commands to, for example: play videos and music; open apps; shop online; check the weather; access compatible smart home devices; or call or message other people. Amazon promises that this is designed with privacy in mind, giving the user control over Alexa settings and the ability to turn off the hands-free mode at any time.

The new Fire 7 Kids comes with a one-year Amazon Kids+ subscription, which includes age-appropriate entertaining and educational content. Usage can be managed with the Amazon Parent Dashboard. The Fire 7 Kids also can be used as a calling device, with contacts approved by their parents.

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