Essay: Analyzing and Making the Amazon Kindle

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Amazon Kindle --

Making the Amazon Kindle

Hill (2014) is of the opinion that Amazon's Kindle was invented as a magical combination of high functionality, economy, design elegance, and high reliability. The company's focus was aggressively reducing Kindle prices to ensure it functions as a home digital library and enjoys a competitive advantage.

The Criteria and Manufacture of the Kindle

Therefore, Amazon came up with its Kindle design in a Californian laboratory, where substantial R&D expertise is found. Cambridge-based (Massachusetts) firm, E-Ink designed and manufactured a key Kindle element-- its "ink" (i.e., minuscule microcapsule beads employed as part of its display). But the majority of its manufacturing is contracted out to Asian manufacturers. Its costliest single constituent -- the display -- took approximately $60 to manufacture. No American manufacturer possessed the expertise necessary to create an electrophoretic bi-stable display capable of showing images even while not consuming battery power. Eventually, the company outsourced this part of the project (i.e., manufacturing the display) to Prime View International, a reliable and efficient Taiwanese company with significant expertise in manufacturing LCDs. The next costliest constituent is its $40 wireless card, which enables the devise to wirelessly connect to the digital bookstore of Amazon. South Korean company, Novatel Wireless, renowned for its expertise in the manufacture of wireless cellphone chipsets, manufactures this part. The card incorporates a Qualcomm (San Diego)-designed, Asian-manufactured chip that costs thirteen dollars. The Kindle's brain is a microprocessor chip (cost of production $8.64), designed by Freescale Semiconductor, a Texas-based company that outsources chip manufacturing to Chinese and Taiwanese foundries. Its $7.50 Li polymer battery, another important component, is manufactured by a Chinese company (Hill, 2014). The criteria adopted in the Kindle's design and creation proved useful, enabling Amazon to create a popular, efficient and effective product.

The Decline of American Competitiveness

As per Hill's (2014) estimations, the total production cost of the Kindle is roughly $185; U.S.-based activities make up 40-50 dollars (i.e., E Ink, Freescale, and Qualcomm activities), while the remainder is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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