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Kindle Fire 2 may be on its wayBy Ryan Noik 27 June 2012 | Categories: news
For those who are invested in Amazon’s ecosystem, the latest speculation around the e-commerce giant include the re-emergence of a rumour that the company will launch a second generation of its Kindle Fire tablet in the month ahead.
Additionally, an e-ink Kindle with a backlight is also expected, as a response to its US competitor Barnes and Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with glowlight.
According to CNET, citing a ‘credible source,’ the launch is pegged as happening on 31st July. Apparently, the Kindle Fire 2 will sport tangible volume controls (rather than the on-screen controls offered by the first iteration) and a camera.
Little else is known about the anticipated follow up, such as what processor it would run, how much memory it could contain, or even whether this time around, it would offer expandable storage.
Relighting the fire
According to DigiTimes, a new Kindle Fire may receive a screen resolution bump, up from the current 1024 x 600 to 1280 x 800. The site further states that a new Kindle Fire could also come in at the $199 (R1600) price point, and result in a price drop for the first model down to $150 (R1200). While we are inclined to take the former speculation with a pinch of salt, the latter seems considerably more likely.
Since the Kindle Fire was launched towards the end of last year, the new iPad has been released, and the iPad 2 has received a price cut of its own. Meanwhile, earlier this year Microsoft formed a strategic partnership with Amazon’s competitor, Barnes and Noble in the US.
There is little doubt in our mind that both developments placed pressure on the Kindle Fire in the US, and managed to prompt users who were planning on opting for Amazon’s tablet another reason to consider, or reconsider, their purchase. Presumably, if it happens, the move would signal an attempt by Amazon to reignite a desire in users’ hearts for its Kindle Fire tablet, as customer satisfaction, interest in and most importantly, sales of, the device have been reportedly dying down.
DigiTimes notes that, while “the Kindle Fire's consumer-friendly price and functions allowed Amazon to achieve sales of 4.5 to 5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011; however, because the device is mainly targeted at the US market, sales quickly dropped to only 700 000 to 800 000 units in the first quarter of 2012.”
Nor is the iPad the only contender that Amazon has to deal with now. Microsoft recently announced its entry into the tablet market, with its Surface tablets, and anticipation is mounting that Google may well be on the verge of announcing its own 7” Google Nexus tablet at the Google I/O developers event currently underway in San Francisco.
To the point
For technology titans such as Amazon, Google and Barnes and Noble, the fierce, unrelenting pace of competition is enough to ensure its executives can look forward to many sleepless nights. For general users though, the news is all good, as the fierce competition routinely drives prices down, while pushing quality and features, not to mention choice, up.
If you only want an ereader, the choices continue expanding, if a tablet is in your sights, then already there is a dazzlingly sumptuous buffet of offerings to choose from. And that trend is one we don’t foresee lessening any time soon.
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