Originally Posted by scrapking
My thoughts on this as someone who has watched the business behind the game console industry for a lot of years: these sort of "channel checks" are usually extremely accurate. What gives them credibility is that they're checking Amazon's orders for key components, components that they can't build a Kindle without, something that it's hard for Amazon to hide as people talk (and some of them are publicly traded companies that must, or simply want to, publish this info). The trick is in figuring out *why* they're accurate. Is it because they're "starving the distribution channel" in advance of a new model? Is it because demand is slowing? Is it because their business is suffering more seasonality than before? Have they overbought in previous quarters and inventory is building up to a level that Amazon's uncomfortable with?
Quite an interesting point, I honestly hadn't thought of it that way.
The curious thing in all this is that the Kindle Touch has been released in only a handful of countries, and the Kindle Fire in only a single country. Surely if demand was softening in the U.S. it would be an opportunity to build up inventory for international launches for the Fire, and an opportunity to get the Kindle Touch into more than just the few markets it's in now, right?
So my guess is that one or more new models is coming. Any new models would apparently replace, rather than complement, the existing models as Amazon doesn't see value in bulking up on existing models. If this theory is correct, these new models would not necessarily even seem like a new model to the average consumer, they might simply be Touchs and Fires with redesigned internals that can be constructed less expensively than the current Touch and Fire; there may not be more power or new features along for the ride. Though there certainly could be more power and/or new features along for the ride, which is actually the more likely scenario.
If Amazon has the ability to build up inventory for international launches and chooses not to do so, then they're really taking international markets for granted (to their detriment, if you ask me) these days.
The Kindle Touch is slowly being released internationally, and I personally think it has more to do with supply than demand. The Kindle Fire I imagine the real reason it hasn't gone internationally is because of licensing restrictions. Amazon has an android app store, but only available to US customers (this was implemented prior to the fire), and the streaming content of movie/tv shows may be highly restricted to the US.
I imagine once Amazon are able to sell streams of movies internationally they will sell the Fire. Content I personally believe is the reason for US-only sale of the Fire.