A number of sites are talking about a new Amazon Fire tablet which will pack a $50 price tag and a 6" screen. Aside from the potential issues of building down to a price, what does Amazon have here?
For a start it has a device that is small enough to be personal. It may also have a device that is powerful enough to run a bar code scanner and maybe even its voice recognition software.
That being the case it may also have the device that the Fire Phone should have been at launch: a cheap, flexible tool that makes it frictionless to buy things from Amazon. Amazon hasn't got a bad reputation for its Kindle devices and a cheap tablet with reasonably good specs could wipe away the bad taste of the Fire Phone.
Making a device that performs well and has a usable screen for $50 is going to be a real challenge. However subsidising a more expensive device in order to further its main business seems a much more achievable target. Its current 6" Fire Tablet sells for $99 so it isn't a great stretch to see the company finding $50 subsidy per device to drive future sales.
What remains to be seen is how well Amazon can leverage this piece of hardware to drive sales of goods. In Prime it has a perfect foil for such a device. It has done a good job of driving ebook sales with Kindle ereaders, so you would tend to back the company to do the same with a tablet focused on promoting sales.
The question is, after the Phone fiasco, does the company back itself?