Amazon Really Does Lose Money on Every Kindle Fire HD (But Microsoft, Not So Much)

Illustration for article titled Amazon Really Does Lose Money on Every Kindle Fire HD (But Microsoft, Not So Much)

Fresh on the heels of an iPad mini teardown that revealed $188 worth of components, IHS has pegged the Kindle Fire HD bill of materials at $165. That means that only about 20 bucks' worth of hardware separates devices with $130 price tag differential. Yeesh.


It was no surprise that the Kindle Fire HD was at best a break-even proposition for Bezos & Co., but that $200 price tag looks even more unhinged when you consider all the research and development and marketing costs that aren't counted in that $165 figure. Consider that there's a $141 gap between Apple's iPad mini bill of materials and its sticker price. That distance, for Amazon, is just $34.

Microsoft, meanwhile, rings up a $271 components bill for every $500 32GB Microsoft Surface it pumps out. That gap makes sense especially given Microsoft's lack of a wildly profitable content business, which is how Amazon justifies its kamikaze Kindle pricing. Microsoft's advantage is even more pronounced when you factor in its Touch Cover, which retails for $120 when bought separately, and contains about $16 worth of parts. [AllThingsD]

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Microsoft Surface. I really want to like it, but it comes short in several areas. The biggest issue is the resolution. People notice how poor it is comparing to iPad and now Nexus 10. ARM version of Windows RT's performance also sucks. Big. Time. Other than that, I wish Surface did come with a stylus and I am going to stick with it along with my iPad.