Amazon Drops the Price of the Kindle Fire HD in the UK and Europe

amazon-kindle-fire-hd-8[1]It looks like Amazon might not be too happy with how well their 7" tablet is selling, because they have just reduced the price in the UK and in Europe.

Amazon's 10-month-old Android tablet is now listed at 169 euros on several of Amazon's European websites, and it is also listed at £139 on Amazon.co.uk. These prices represent a decent but not desperate discount of 12% to 15%, and follow shortly after a similar price drop in the US.

There's no word yet on how long these prices will stick around,  but now that Amazon has lowered the price pretty much everywhere (the KFHD is even on sale in Japan, though not in India) I suspect that this is the new permanent price.

Amazon has in the past lowered the price of their hardware, and while we don't always know why it is usually safe to guess that sales weren't meeting expectations. In fact, the Kindle Fire tablets have seen several price cuts since they launched last Fall, including a deep price cut on the 8.9" model as well as a couple price reductions on the KFHD 7" 32GB model (now only $199 in the US).

Does anyone else see the pattern here?

In the space of ten months Amazon has lowered the price on their hardware, expanded availability, and then lowered the price again. Something tells me that the sales aren't as good as expected, and that could mean that the current prices are here to stay.

One reader suggested this possibility when I wrote about the price cut that happened earlier this week, but at that time I wasn't completely convinced he was right. I had thought that Amazon was responding to the clearance sale on the Nook HD, but now that Amazon has reduced the price of the KFHD in nearly all markets that can no longer be the case.

But the reason for Amazon's price cut isn't nearly as important as the fact that they have reset the Android tablet market again. Now Android tablets are going to have to compete against a cheaper KFHD, and that will drive the prices down.

Take that new Bookeen tablet I reported on earlier this week. The Cybook tablet is priced at 159 euros, or 10 euros less than the KFHD, and that means that Bookeen's tablet is not nearly as good of a deal as it might have been only 2 days ago.

The same goes for all other tablets that have to compete with the KFHD.

16 thoughts on “Amazon Drops the Price of the Kindle Fire HD in the UK and Europe

  1. They could be adjusting the price to better compete with the incoming Nexus 7 V2.0.
    Or the new Nexus 7-equivalent discount tablets.
    It’s been well over six months since the FireHDs were introduced and they are nearing the end of their life as top-tier devices so the price *should* be dropping.

    1. Agreed. The current Fires were introduced at a press event in early September 2012. Maybe Amazon is clearing out inventory getting ready for another September announcement.

      1. Having a sale would be one thing to clear out existing stock is one thing, but Amazon simply dropped the price. While this will clear out stock it will also set the current price as the new standard. Amazon will have to sell the new KFHD at this price, and that will probably cost them a lot of money.

        1. …unless the new model brings enough added value to justify the higher price so the existing model stays at ~$169 to compete with the cheaper models.
          That *is* what they did with the original FIRE last year.

          With new, higher spec models coming into the $199 price point it would be suicide to try to keep the FIREHD up there until the fall. And if they’re headed that way anyway, why not get there a bit earlier? Get a bit of extra mindshare.

          Sales are doubtlessly slow-all the Kindles are seasonal devices–but that by itself says nothing about whether Amazon is or isn’t having *unexpected* problems.

          1. I think we are 2 months away from probably a new announcement/release of new models. I agree it makes sense for them to start dropping the price. Most companies aren’t going to say they are on sale because we have a new model coming. People wouldn’t buy it, they’d just wait for the new one. 2 months away gets them pass the 30 day return policy also.

          2. No, the original Kindle Fire was relaunched at a reduced price at the launch event for the KFHD. It was officially discontinued first.

            This year we have a nice price drop but no hint that the hardware will be discontinued. IMO the price drop is creating the precendent that the new devices will have to sell at the new price.

  2. -Two major price drops in 9 months
    -Still three months away from the launch of a new product generation
    -No sales figures
    -Paperwhite top selling Amazon item in Q1
    -Tablet market overcrowded
    -Amazon App Store increasingly missing apps, no longer in the news
    -KF never gets the top spot in Kindle store (outside the US)
    -KF rankings in several countries are terrible (below top 100 in Spain)

    Yeah, I do see a trend. People aren’t buying the Kindle Fire.

    Hold that thought: Amazon’s massive investments are never going pay off. At least in terms of profits, there is no sign they’re getting anywhere – in fact, operating income plunged last year.

    All this spending has dug a big hole for them. Continuing the KF crusade means throwing more money at the losing side of a neverending war. Abandoning it means writing off a big investment and essentially giving up on tablets.

    Neither option is any good. Of course, that’s why Amazon won’t talk sales.

  3. Notice that the price of the basic kindle fire has NEVER been discounted.

    As a purchaser of the original kindle fire I know that it is so good that I haven’t needed to upgrade.

    Amazon is competing with itself I am sure that the basic fire is its best selling model, and the bigger HD version don’t sell as well.

  4. So, what do you say Europe if it doesn’t have a single retail market?
    Moreover, Europe has more than two currencies (many).

    1. Amazon, Fnac, and many other retailers went to the expense of launching localized retail sites rather than serving up everyone from a single site.

      And while Europe may have numerous currencies I only have to deal with 2 of them.

      1. OK, thanks for the explanation, it’s my fault, I didn’t know you are only interested in those two areas, It would be better if the other Europeans stop visiting your website.

  5. Isn’t it remarkable how much the tablet market is turning into the phone market? The only difference being is that instead of Samsung at the head, its amazon.

    And like the phone market its one company that’s making the profit: Apple.

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