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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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November 2011
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Kindle Fire Tear Down Details: It’s Less Expensive Than We Thought

One of the more obvious inevitabilities when a product like the Kindle Fire is released is a detailed tear down of the components.  It’s always interesting to find out what goes into making useful new electronics so functional, after all.  Recently iFixit was on the ball and ripped apart a new Kindle for our benefit.  Here’s what they found inside, along with some price estimates I was able to dredge up:

Part Estimated Price
Processor 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 $18
Display 7″ 1024 x 600 w/ IPS $35
Touchscreen Controller ILITEK
2107QS001K
A95B8F416
A2130B002
$25
Flash Memory 8GB Samsung KLM8GFEJA $8
RAM 512 MB Hynix H9TKNNN4K $5
Battery LI-ION Polymer 4400mAh/16.28Wh 3.7V $12
WLAN Jorjin WG7310 WLAN/BT/FM Combo Module $3
Misc Parts TI 603B107 Fully Integrated Power Management
TI LVDS83B FlatLink 10-135 MHz Transmitter
TI AIC3110 Low-Power Audio Codec w/ 1.3W Stereo Class-D Speaker Amplifier
TI WS245 4-Bit Dual-Supply Bus Transceiver
TI WL1270B 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Solution Total ~$25
Other Materials Case, Assembly, Etc $7
Manufacturing Costs ~$5
Total: ~$143

All of this seems to indicate that earlier assumptions about the lack of profit to be found in such a device as this were blown out of proportion.  The Kindle Fire seems to be not only a versatile device, but surprisingly simple and efficient at the hardware level.  While my estimates for pricing are, as always, pulled from several sources and estimated when necessary, there seems to be a great deal of confirmation about the majority of it.  I feel fairly confident that that comes within +-$15 of the actual cost.

Much of the focus of the tear down I am pulling from was also on potential serviceability of the device.  The Kindle 4 non-Touch, as we outlined our previous in-house tear down, was practically unserviceable due to the extreme use of adhesive throughout.  While some of that remains in this model, apparently the only real difficulties will come in when trying to replace cracked glass (which won’t be much of an issue as our earlier posted drop/scratch test demonstrated) and during the initial removal of the battery.  Unlike the Kindle 4, it was possible to work past this without destroying the entire device.

They were also able to refute those who assumed that, due to the connection with Quanta Computer and the similar external appearance, the Kindle Fire would be nothing but a clone of the Playbook.  Internally, the two are only very vaguely similar.

Basically, not only is Amazon making at least some profit off of each device, they are doing so by presenting customers with an experience that rivals some of their more technically powerful competition at a price that people are having no small amount of trouble competing with.  It’s durable, seems to have a long lifespan ahead of it, and generally serves its purpose well.  As expected this carries nowhere near the punch of something like the iPad on a technical level, but in the end that shouldn’t come as any surprise given the asking price.  All in all the Kindle Fire definitely carried a couple surprises.  It will be interesting to see what the next generation brings aside from a slightly larger screen.

2 comments to Kindle Fire Tear Down Details: It’s Less Expensive Than We Thought

  • tuxgirl

    Is the BT in the Jorjin model referring to Bluetooth? If so, that’d be a nice surprise…

  • matthew

    tuxgirl,
    I think it is, yes. I don’t know that that alone is sufficient hardware to make it connectable though. Somehow I doubt that we’ll be seeing it enabled any time soon, but that’s more my own guess than any sort of technical assessment.

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