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Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle has grown significantly since its release in 2007 as a pure e-book reader with its eye-friendly black-and-white screen. Instead, the new Kindle Fire HD features a 1280-by-800 LCD screen, 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory, the ability to play movies, and a sleeker body. It has transformed from an e-reader into a tablet computer. As the Kindle’s functions have grown more diverse, its sales figures have also grown since its initial release, even though Amazon declines to give exact figures.
Digitimes Research senior analyst James Wang predicts combined shipments of the 7-inch and 8.9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD will reach 5 million units by the end of the year. However, Digitimes estimates that the 8.9-inch tablet will account for only 2.2 million units of this year’s sales, and 3.5 to 4 million total shipments before the product is phased out of the market. After its release in November 2007, the first generation Kindle sold out in a little more than five hours.
The budding competition between Amazon’s Kindle, which runs Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, and Google’s Nexus makes Amazon’s sales predictions of particular note. “The Kindle is a key brick in their house,” said Slalom Consulting analyst Dan Maycock in a statement. “Amazon needs the Kindle to continue to be as successful as they have been.”
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