The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (
) -- The much-hyped Kindle Fire tablet is finally here. With a price tag of $199, the Fire tablet is not expected to bring in a lot of money for Amazon's hardware business. However, Amazon will see significant gains in its content and e-commerce business if its low-priced tablet manages to sell in high numbers.
Previously, many companies have tried to enter the tablet market to counter
Research In Motion
We currently have
a price estimate of $240 for Amazon's stock, which is about 11% above the current market price.
Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, introduces the Kindle Fire.
With Kindle Fire sales expected to be in the 3million to 5 million range in fourth quarter 2011 alone, the tablet has the potential to add major scale to Amazon's e-commerce business. Every Fire tablet would come with a free 30-day membership to Amazon Prime, an otherwise paid-membership ($79 annually) which provides unlimited fast shipping of orders.
While this should increase Amazon's share of online merchandise sales, the tablet can also push more Kindle Fire users to subscribe for the Amazon Prime service. These gains should be large enough to offset any losses Amazon faces on its hardware.
Kindle Fire's impact is not restricted to e-commerce alone. The tablet also increases the reach of Amazon's Instant Video, a service that would provide instant access to thousands of videos, movies and TV shows present in Amazon's video library. Additionally,
Amazon is striving for stronger relationships with publishers in order to build its arsenal of online content such as books and music. All these developments are bound to scare competing e-content providers such as
. All that remains to be seen, however, is whether the mass market laps up the $199 tablet as quickly as Amazon expects.
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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.