Amazon has long promised its Kindle Fire tablets are selling really well, and to help them sell even better, it’s just launched a new way to buy the Kindle Fire HDX: You can have it now and pay off the balance over nine months, interest free.
The interest-free option is for either the $229 HDX 7-inch unit or the $379 8.9-inch version, and the payments are in four parts. But Amazon is being smart about the risk it’s taking–if you don’t complete the payments, the small print says Amazon retains the right to “deregister” the tablet, completely freezing your access to Amazon content and essentially bricking the device.
It’s clever, especially in the run-up to the all-important holiday season. And we can understand why Amazon’s doing this, in part, because recent research data shows Kindle owners spend over $400 a year more on Amazon’s various stores than non-Kindle customers. Thus Amazon’s new Kindle deal is trying to tempt people to spend money they don’t have right now in order to later spend more money on Amazon later. Smart. But we do have to ask the question: If the HDX was selling as well as Amazon promises, why does the company feel it needs to take this risk to promote the machine at all?