updated 09:15 pm EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
Amazon said to launch two 7-inch versions
When Amazon reveals its new line of Kindles at an event next week, the e-retailer will not be pulling the covers back from a larger version meant to compete with Apple's iPad. This according to CNet, which hears from unnamed sources that Amazon will stick to the 7-inch playing field, introducing two new models of its Kindle Fire, both around the same form factor as the original. One of those models is said to be a direct replacement for the original Kindle Fire -- of which Amazon has said it has "sold out" -- while the other is said to be a higher-end model.
The replacement model is said to be slightly upgraded over the original Kindle Fire, with a new user interface atop improved internals. That model is said to come at a lower price point than the original, likely an attempt to gain back any ground ceded to Google in the wake of that company's popular Nexus 7.
The higher-end Kindle Fire is said to feature more hardware improvements and increased capabilities. The higher-end model will reportedly include a faster processor, camera, physical volume controls, and an HDMI port. While it will feature more storage space, that space will not be expandable.
In addition to its processor and camera, the higher end model may feature location services. Amazon is said to have partnered with Nokia for mapping services for an as-yet-unrevealed Kindle Fire model. The addition of global positioning capabilities to a higher-model would bring it on par with the Nexus 7 and other similar small tablets.
The newest rumor regarding the Kindle Fire doesn't eliminate the possibility of a larger model appearing at some point in the near future, but such a model supposedly will not be making an appearance at next week's event. Specific pricing details on the units likely will not be revealed until their official unveiling.