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Analyst expects 5m Kindle Fire units to ship by end of year

Amazon may be ramping up production of Kindle Fire tablets due to the unexpectedly high pre-launch demand

With over 200,000 pre-orders already set, the Kindle Fire is looking to live up to its name and make a dent in the tablet market. The pre-launch hype and positive responses to the low $199 price point has already convinced at least one analyst to up their tallies.

During a phone interview with CNet, analyst Ashok Kumar of Rodman & Renshaw told the tech media website that Amazon is gearing up to ship around 5 million Kindle Fire units in time for the Holiday seasons. Over two weeks ago, Kumar predicted only 4 million units within the same Q4 timeframe, the source says.

The reason for Kumar’s revised forecasts is easy to understand. The combination of affordability and strong pre-order numbers with respectable hardware makes the tablet a very strong contender against both budget-line tablets and the $500 iPad 2. In fact, analyst Anthony DiClemente of Barclays Capital is even expecting Kindle tablets and e-readers to make up 45% of Amazon’s total yearly revenue by 2014. He, like, Kumar, was caught off guard by the launch price of the Kindle Fire.

Still, Kumar believes that Amazon could be facing component supply issues in the near future, possibly retarding Amazon from hitting its production volume goals. “The primary gating factor is on the display side,” he said to CNet. “If they can fix that… it’s not demand limited. It’s a supply constraint.

The Amazon Kindle Fire is currently primed for a November 15th release for U.S. customers. At least one brick-and-mortar retailer, such as Best Buy, will carry the tablet in-stores.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-10-15 (Update: 2012-05-26)