Amazon has experienced a massive amount of success with their budget friendly 7 inch fire tablet. In the last few months they have sold millions in the United States and United Kingdom. People seem drawn to the $50 piece of hardware that is a gateway to buying e-books, music and videos. Amazon is hoping that this tablet will be a success in China and they launched it there today for 499 Yuan.
China is a very important market to Amazon and the company has been selling Kindle e-books there since 2012. They originally launched their store with a paltry 300 titles and grew to 6,200 in 2013. This year they are on pace to surpass over 44,000 Kindle e-books this year.
The Amazon PR machine seems fairly bullish about the Chinese market and how they might embrace a fairly low priced tablet. “We’ve already sold millions of Fire tablets since launch, and we’re excited to now make it available to customers in China,” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President, Amazon Devices. “With millions of readers already using Kindle e-readers in China, we’re excited to now offer another incredibly affordable option, particularly for customers learning to read English. With tools and features like Word Wise and Blue Shade, plus a large selection of Chinese and English content, we think readers will love the new Fire tablet.”
One of the big drawbacks of using the Fire Tablet in China is customers will not be able to access Amazon Instant Video or Prime Music. This includes all of the original content Amazon has been producing lately, including the new hit show “The Man in High Castle.”
In order to provide streaming content for Chinese customers Amazon has just signed a landmark deal Baidu to provide search, apps, and online video experience on Amazon tablets in China.
Amazon may also have their work cut out for them in China when it comes to selling tablets. China is an example of what is often called a ‘mobile-first’ economy, meaning that many consumers primarily use their phones to access the internet. One estimate by Boston Consulting Group suggest that as much as 90% of internet browsing in China is conducted on smartphones.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.