In the tablet world, things move quickly and Amazon isn’t oblivious. Rumors have now surfaced that the 7 inch model will be refreshed, and will be accompanied by a larger, ~9 inch model. Don’t expect a snazzy new name though – it’s expected to simply be called the Kindle Fire 2. When will these devices surface? Some time around May or June.
We can see the logic in the 9 inch model – much like how the Kindle DX was extremely popular among comic book readers, maybe Amazon is trying to target them again with the 9-Inch Kindle Fire. Of course, it might just be to make it competitive against most of the other tablets – people prefer ten inch tablets over seven inch tablets. And with Amazon’s ties with the movie industry and offering unlimited movie streaming with Amazon Prime, maybe this is to appeal to media consumers. These reasons aren’t mutually exclusive – almost everyone who uses a seven inch tablet wants a bigger screen, so its a huge market.
Now, specifications! Don’t expect to see a Tegra 3 in it anytime soon – we must remember the price point of the Kindle Fire is just $199 and Amazon don’t want to challenge that – it’s working very well for them. In fact to keep to that price point, Amazon has decided to get Foxconn (yes, arguably one of the worst factories for worker’s rights in the world) on board to assemble some of the parts. The source also says the components will be shipped to manufacturers sometime in March. Some suspect the upgrade will just be a gig of RAM and a front facing camera.
Now, this leak also suggests that Amazon have been turning a profit on these devices even in the short term. With the devices so cheap, many assumed that Amazon were actually making a loss on the device in the hope of getting digital sales – the tablet is heavily integrated with the Amazon Digital Content Store. This practice is not uncommon among video game consoles, where the income is made by the licensing costs of games (that’s why console games typically cost more than PC games). Why would they make another device if this model wasn’t working?
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