Tech blog site Know Your Mobile recently reported that Amazon is getting ready to roll out the Kindle Flame in the UK according to the inevitable “source close to the launch”. The 7 inch tablet has been taking the US by storm, selling for about half the price of the Apple iPad. In fact, the American tech pundits speculate that Amazon takes a loss on every tablet sold. The reason for this is that the Kindle Fire is really nothing more than a device to read books and watch videos with that just happens to be a tablet as well. Like game console makers, any loss on the hardware is more than made up by inducing customers to buy into the Amazon ecosystem of Kindle format books, Amazon movie and video rentals and even Audible audiobooks.
In all likelihood, the Fire has not been released in the UK as yet because Amazon needed more time to strike the UK content deals required to make the new tablet viable in the UK market and to beef up their UK data center. While Amazon has Loveflims, the licensing for the Fire would require additional arrangements. Further, compared to what Amazon has on offer for US customers and especially US Amazon Prime customers, Amazon would have to line up far more content to compete with say, Netflix. For example, I would be quite curious if the Fire supports the Android version of the BBC iApp player or BBC content will somehow be folded into the Amazon player. Much of the Fire’s content is optimized via use of cached copies of internet pages that are located in Amazon’s data centers, all of which are reported to be in the US. For the Fire to work effectively it would follow that location based services be served in the UK.
One thing is for sure, the advent of Nexflix in the UK should get Amazon to move things along for the Fire.