Amazon Kindle Fire Release Date: Device Could Sell 5M in 2011

The Kindle Fire tablet is expected to sell 5 million devices, even with only six weeks left in the year, CNN reported.

The new Amazon tablet released on Nov. 15 received rave reviews and is being considered the next best thing to an iPad; however, industry insiders say it may not be an "iPad Killer."

Nevertheless, insiders expect the tablet will sell well during the remainder of 2011.

"Amazon has all the pieces in place to ensure a successful launch for the Fire," said Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps to CNN.

The Kindle Fire is marketed as a tablet for media consumption, such as reading books and magazines as well as watching video and streaming music. The tablet could be a welcome complement to Amazon's expansive media library.

While not heavy on specifications, the Kindle Fire features a 7-inch display and a version of Google's Android operating system customized especially for Amazon.

Rotman Epps, who projected a 3 million to 5 million market for the Kindle Fire during its premier sale, noted that the tablet may be especially marketable to people who do not own an iPad because they do not have an Apple store nearby.

"Amazon as a company appeals to a wider, more diverse customer base," said Rotman Epps.

"Our studies show a lot of iPad owners live within driving distance of Apple stores -- meaning they're concentrated on the coast. This could be a red state/blue state thing,” Epps added.

Analysts also noted that the significantly lower price of the Kindle Fire should appeal to many. The Kindle Fire sells for $199, while the iPad starts at $499 for its base model.

JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth projected that this low cost appeal may help the Kindle Fire sell up to 20 million devices in 2012.

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