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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader 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 e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and 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.

Kindle Fire Skins From DecalGirl

This is our traditional (7-th) Friday post in  the series of weekly giveaways sponsored by DecalGirl.com. The winner of prize is @chipvanalstyne. Our congratulation to him (her).
We decided to change a little bit the rules of the game. Now they are more easy. You need only to leave a comment what you think about Kindle Fire on our site to be in the game. In the next Friday we will announce and send a personal message on email with redemption code in case you win. It is good chance to get a new case to your new Kindle Fire. Do not lose it.



Usually when a fire is out, things cool down. But if you have been keeping up with the news, you know that Amazon’s sales figures for the Kindle Fire suggest that things are really heating up. According to CNN Money, sales of the Fire are estimated to reach 5 million by the end of this year.

DecalGirl has prepared for the Fire (and the Kindle Touch) by offering a pre-sale on skins for those devices for the past couple of weeks. Now that the Fire is out, DecalGirl skins are ready to roll so that you can have your Fire and skins for it, too.
In this week’s post I am going to shut my mouth, so to speak, and just let you see some of our currently most popular skins for the Kindle Fire. As usual, clicking on any of the images in the post will take you to the page featuring that design at DecalGirl.com, so you can take a closer look.
First up, we have a perfect design to cover a Fire: “Flower Of Fire” by DecalGirl Collective.

Next is a design called “Fascinating Surprise” by Kate Knight. The mix of colors on this one make it appear dark and yet bright at the same time.


The third design fits the upcoming season: “Winter Sparkle” by Madart.
Valentina Ramos offers a design of a different sort, “Owls Family.”


And the final design for now is “Sacred Honu” by Al McWhite.

Those five designs are among 33 skin designs for the Kindle Fire that are currently ready to ship, but remember that you are not limited to those designs for your new Fire skin. At DecalGirl you can shop by design and choose from any of over 2000 works of art for your skin.

Happy Thanksgiving to all American readers! Settle in next to the fireplace with a good book on your Kindle, and I’ll have more to share next week.

Amazon Kindle Daily Detail Now Available In UK

Let’s face it, Amazon has not been great up until now about making sure that customers outside of US markets get access to their products and services in a timely manner.  The Kindle Fire will be a long time coming to other countries due to its strong ties to an infrastructure that hasn’t been built up anywhere else yet, Amazon Prime has yet to carry quite the same incentives for everybody, and many of the promotions that Amazon runs don’t quite make it to any of their sites besides Amazon.com.  It’s always good news when this changes, though, even if only slightly.

Amazon has recently announced that their ongoing Kindle Daily Deal promotion will be extended to the UK’s Kindle Store.  Amazon.co.uk customers will be able to enjoy specially discounted Kindle Edition eBooks on a daily basis.  Each book will be available at this price for 24 hours before reverting to its normal number.  In the US Kindle Store, it has not been unusual to see heavily discounted titles in a variety of genres and it is hopes that this trend will continue now that the offer is being expanded.

Sadly, while as I mentioned this is definitely a step in the right direction, it does little to address the ongoing problem.  The newest Kindles have not yet been given much of a presence outside of US markets.  While, for example, you can buy the new Kindle 4 in the UK you cannot order a Kindle Touch, or even a Kindle Keyboard without 3G.  Prices are still noticeably higher due to a number of factors including the lack of Special Offers integration, and this has not been changing at the rate we might expect.

Clearly Amazon is responding to a number of pressures.  I could reasonably see it being difficult to justify having a Kindle Keyboard WiFi if consumer demand in a particular country leaves them sitting on a shelf while orders come in for the 3G model.  The Kindle Touch, due in particular to its much-touted X-Ray feature, requires access to Amazon technology still in its early stages.  As such it might be worth working the bugs out before implementing it elsewhere.  The Kindle Fire relies on all sorts of media streaming avenues that will require years of time and more money than anybody likes to think about to make happen in new markets.  Each new market, in fact, will be the same headache all over again since global media rights are not exactly simple to secure.  There is a lot that goes into getting something ready for international release on any large scale.

That said, all of this is insufficient to really justify the continuance of the problem or Amazon’s lack of comment on user demands.  It is nice when they come up with something like the Kindle Daily Deal, but in the end it seems like audiences outside the US are almost an afterthought.  If Amazon hopes to secure any significant presence beyond what it already has in hand, the only option is to start pushing for more equal treatment of these customer bases.  Or so it would seem to me.

Best Places to find Free Kindle Books

There are many options on where to find free Kindle books.  Amazon has dedicated a page to list all of the options.  The only catch is that you really have to be diligent about tracking the special promotions.  They disappear quickly.

First off, the Kindle Store has limited time promotions on different books.  I’ve found some good ones through the Top 100 Free Kindle books list.  This list is updated hourly, so if you see one you like, grab it immediately.  the list includes popular free games such as Pixel Perfect Holiday Puzzles.

The free books offered by the Kindle Store are mostly romantic or religious themed.  But, if you take some time to look through the list, you can find some books with a good storyline.  It is a great opportunity to explore new authors who don’t get the recognition from the big name publishers.

Pre 1923 classics can be found in a variety of places.  Project Gutenberg is one of the original sources for free e-books.  It currently has a collection that includes roughly 30,000 titles.  You can download the books to your Kindle via USB.

Amazon’s free book page provides links to Project Gutenberg, as well as other internet based e-books.  Open Library, ManyBooks.net, and Internet Archive offer up to millions of titles.  For web based e-books and limited previews, check out Google books.

Some great programs were launched this Fall: Kindle Library Lending and Kindle Owner’s Library Lending.  Kindle Library Lending is available in 11,000 and counting libraries across the US.  Most libraries have a widget somewhere on their website that directs you to their Kindle books available through OverDrive.  My local public library just added Kindle Library Lending, and it offers a mix up new and old books.  There is already a waiting list on many of them.

Amazon Prime members can access the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  It is a Netflix for books type deal.  You can only check out one book a month, but it doesn’t have a due date.  The library includes over 5000 books.  Lots of bestsellers in the collection.  One thing to note is that you have to download the book directly from your Kindle direction instead of on Amazon’s website.

So, to sum it up, there are tons of free e-book options available for all of the Kindles.  The great thing about the free classics is that you can use them for school.  The physical books are not that expensive, but with a lot of them it can add up.  Free is always good!

I’m hoping that if I wait long enough, the Steve Jobs biography and other major bestsellers will be available for lending.  But, that will probably be awhile.