Today only, Amazon.com is offering the Kindle Fire as a refurbished unit for $139.99 with free shipping. The refurbished units carry the same one-year warranty as new Kindle Fire units.
Getting the deal is is not as easy as 1-click shopping normally is on Amazon.com, however.
To get the deal, you must sign in with an Amazon.com account. Then, click the Amazon Gold Box in the top-left corner of the page. Finally, the Kindle Fire refurbished unit should appear.
The Kindle Fire is the second most popular tablet on the market today, second only to Apple’s iPad. The tablet runs a heavily-modified version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and features exclusive mobile access to Amazon Prime’s free streaming video library, included with the standard $80 per year Amazon Prime service.
The one-day fire sale on refurbished Kindle Fire stock comes on rumors that Amazon.com is preparing multiple second-generation models to better combat Apple’s iPad. Rumors of an 8.9-inch Kindle Fire have persisted since Amazon first announced Kindle Fire, and were all but acknowledged by the company that future Kindle Fire units would carry such a display.
One wildcard on newer Kindle Fire models remains what generation of Android they will be based on. While rumors of Amazon moving to its own Linux-based, Android-compatible operating system (such as webOS) have died down, there still remains questions surrounding how future Kindle Fires will handle Android’s fragmented operating system.
One potential option is for Amazon to ship newer Kindle Fire models with Android 3.2 Honeycomb, while preparing them to be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). However, it is more likely the devices will ship with ICS pre-installed.
The delay in Kindle Fires ironically stems from Google’s hesitation to release Android source code for Honeycomb in a timely fashion. Google stated that it did not want to release sub-par source code, as its official answer for failing to comply with open source licensing rules. Those rules required Google to release Honeycomb’s source code in a timely fashion, but Google did not do so until after Honeycomb was rendered obsolete. To Google’s credit, they have reformed, and are now releasing source code in a timely manner.
The delay in releasing Honeycomb source code made it difficult for non-Google-supporting Android manufacturers like Archos and Amazon to customize their devices for newer generations of Android software. Many argue this was intentional on the part of Google, to ensure Google’s partners had superior tablets. Now that Android 4.0 has been in the hands of developers for months, Amazon is likely prepared to release ICS-enabled devices.