While some analysts speculate Amazon.com has shunned wireless wide area connectivity in favor of Wi-Fi with the introduction of the Kindle Fire tablet, at least one analyst believes Amazon will introduce as least two more Fire tablets--one with 3G and 4G integrated into the device.
Bernstein Research Senior Analyst Carlos Kirjner wrote in a research note that, based on his discussions with Taiwan sources, at least two new Kindle Fire models will be introduced by the fourth quarter of 2012. They include a 9.6- or 10.1-inch color Wi-Fi model and a seven-inch HSPA+ and/or LTE version.
Kirjner believes these subsequent models will improve the Fire's gross margins since the price premium for models with wide area networking capability is higher than the corresponding increase in the bill of materials (BOM).
Some analysts have surmised that Amazon is not interested in making money from the hardware itself but rather is banking on increased content sales. Hence the reason it has sold a Wi-Fi-only Kindle Fire device. However, a Wi-Fi-only device is the fastest way to initially come to market since WAN-enabled tablets require testing and approval from operators.
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