Amazon says the Kindle Fire is sold out. We say Amazon is making room for the Kindle refresh sweep next month.
Well isn't that convenient? Amazon said on Thursday that the former #1 best-selling Android tablet, the Kindle Fire, is now sold out nationwide after thriving in the tablet market for just nine months. The news arrives after Amazon said that it has launched its Android-based Appstore in Europe including the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
"We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon—all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem."
The 7-inch Kindle Fire was first introduced 48 weeks ago, and quickly became the #1 Android tablet by the end of 2011. But sales began to taper off at the beginning of 2012, thus propelling Samsung back into the Android tablet throne prior to the launch of Google's own Nexus 7. But as Amazon points out, what the company still has going for it is over 22 million movies, TV shows, apps, games, books, magazines and more offered on the Kindle Fire, some of which can't be accessed on any other Android-based tablet.
What makes Amazon's "sold out" announcement convenient is that it arrives just before the rumored September 6 press event in which the company will supposedly announce its refreshed Kindle line of gadgets. Saying during the event that the 10-inch Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire is currently sold out just makes the big September 6 release look that much more impressive. It's a marketing ploy that disguises the fact that Amazon has stopped producing the legacy units to make room for the new models.
Unfortunately for Amazon, the hill will be a bit steeper to climb in Fall 2012. As previously mentioned, Google already has its 7-inch answer to the Kindle Fire on the market, and an Easter egg buried within Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" hints to another big release of something this holiday season. This will likely be a Google-sanctioned keyboard dock offering a full QWERTY and a USB 2.0 host port. Will it include HDMI output? Probably not.
Also rumored for this fall is Apple's 7-inch iPad Mini. This factor should put the fear in EVERY tablet manufacturer, as this device will undoubtedly draw in consumers -- those currently eying the "new" iPad (3) -- that are unwilling to spend more than $250 on a tablet.
Amazon is reportedly gearing up to launch multiple Kindle products in September, including a 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (2), a revamped, cheaper Kindle Fire, a 10-inch Kindle Fire XL, an updated Kindle Touch with color and front-lit lighting, and an updated Kindle with color and frontlit lighting. Also supposedly up to bat will be an ad-based Kindle Fire at a reduced cost, an ad-based Kindle Touch Color, and an ad-based Kindle with monochrome graphics.
With all that said, naturally Amazon is "selling out" of its current stock, as it will all be obsolete in mere days. Still, that doesn't mean the Kindle Fire didn't kick ass and take names during its first assault: it captured 22-percent of the tablet sales here in the U.S. in just nine months. And now with the Appstore expanding into Europe, the entire Kindle line is about to light up the tablet market worldwide next month.