updated 11:00 pm EST, Wed March 7, 2012
Amazon Kindle Fire may get quick 7in sequel
Amazon may have reshuffled its Kindle Fire sequel plans again to drop an 8.9-inch model. A rumor Wednesday night spread to Digitimes had Amazon instead planning a straightforward seven-inch sequel to the current model as well as the alluded-to 10-inch version. Success with the tablet was leading Amazon to drift from e-readers to tablets, prompting the larger model, the sources claimed.
Both existing supplier Quanta as well as Foxconn would make the larger slate. In the meantime, E Ink was purportedly being given fewer orders, a sign that Amazon was now actively reducing traditional Kindle readers, not just watching them be outsold by the Kindle Fire.
Hopes for a quick turnaround in tablets would be dashed if the rumor was accurate. Neither would ship until the second half of the year, where earlier rumors had one new model shipping during the spring.
Analysts have estimated that Amazon shipped just short of four million Kindle Fires in the fall, or enough to make it the leading Android tablet designer in a crowd that has typically struggled to get more than a million from any one competitor. The scale might persuade it to amplify its development, but it's yet to be seen whether Amazon can sustain demand or if post-holiday conditions and the new iPad curb its expectations.
Amazon lost half its profit in the fall due to the loss-leading $199 price for the Kindle Fire. Future tablets would likely follow the same pattern and could be costly for Amazon.