The recent success of the Google Nexus 7 – a popular new 7" Android tablet – presents a challenge for Amazon, and perhaps Apple. Amazon is expected to step up to that challenge later this week.
With the Amazon Kindle Fire now officially sold out, and an Amazon press event scheduled for September 6th, everybody knows that a new Kindle Fire is coming.
Most of the rumors agree on the obvious gadget upgrades, such as a faster processor and increased screen resolution (1280x800 likely). Inclusion of a camera seems very likely, too, and would enable personal video conferencing through Skype and similar apps. It's also expected that we'll see some improvements to the user interface and a more modern underlying Android OS, though Amazon doesn't expose the Android OS on the Kindle Fire and that's not expected to change in a new model.
Some gadget-watchers have speculated that Amazon will release both a 7" and a larger 10" tablet, the latter aimed at direct competition with the Apple iPad. Other sources, including The Verge, believe that we'll see two new versions of the 7" tablet (actual dimensions today, 7.5" x 4.7"). An entry level tablet with minimal storage, and a higher-end tablet with higher-end hardware specs.
I'm inclined to believe The Verge. Amazon has been successful with their 7" form factor and doesn't have a good reason to complicate things by taking on Apple.
Also expected to be announced is a new model of the successful Amazon Kindle e-reader with a new display technology called Paperwhite and a backlight feature that has been well-liked in recent B&N Nook models.
Whether any of the new models will have a 4G carrier networking option is still an unknown.
September and October should be interesting times for gadget hounds. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and others will have announcements in the coming days and weeks, to announce phones and tablets for the upcoming holiday season.
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