Down to $299. Bill of materials on Playbook is under $200 so they should in theory not be losing too much money on the physical bits.
"NPD Group analyst Richard Shim, who closely watches the tablet market, said his firm sees a production gap as well. "Our supply chain research indicates they (RIM) don't have production plans for PlayBooks beyond this year." "
I have this theory, which is that RIM had some sort of supply chain worked out -- only the Playbook clearly didn't need it. So Amazon took over the parts that would have gone into PlayBooks if the Playbook had been successful, took out some of the more expensive ones (camera, microphone, memory, 3G) and produced the kFire from what was left. Where the Playbook was conspicuously lacking in what you could connect to with it, the kFire looks like it'll roll with a lot of stuff to access with it. Where the Playbook was conspicuously marketed to the enterprise market (altho with some missing pieces even for that), the kFire is conspicuously aimed at the consumer market. But those differences aren't inherent in the physical parts.
Quoting Shim again:
""We heard from the supply side that RIM's ODM (original design manufacturer) partners don't have plans for production beyond this year," Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch, told CNET, referring to the PlayBook tablet. "And it is unusual for a manufacturing partner not to have plans for next quarter," he said."
If you feel like reading random, silly speculation about the Amazon supply chain and whether the kFire will sell out during the holidays, you can read this:
iSuppli provides some data, which other people decide to ignore.
Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader spotted an oops posting of information about Kobo's Android tablet:
That's just got to suck. You put this thing together thinking you're going up against BKS with NookColor at a $250 price point, and you get AMZN announcing a tablet a few weeks earlier at a $199 price point.
On the other hand, what a _fantastic_ Christmas season this is going to be for lots and lots of people: some of them will get the new Nook Color. Some of them will get a kFire. Some of them will get a Kobo tablet. And instead of spouses trying to squeeze the budget to get an iPad for Someone Special, family Santa can afford two for someones special. Happy Holidays are ahead!