Report: Amazon Kindle Fire 2 Coming Next Month
Are you in the market for a Kindle Fire? You might want to wait a little longer to buy one, because a new report indicates that Amazon is putting the finishing touches on a new version.
According to a Monday report from CNET, which cited a "credible source," Amazon is gearing up to unveil its second-generation Kindle Fire this summer. The online retailer is reportedly eyeing July 31 for a Kindle Fire 2 launch event.
Amazon announced the original 7-inch Android-powered Kindle Fire last September, and it began shipping in November. While it could maintain a similar timeframe for its next-gen Kindle Fire, a summer launch is more likely as it would allow the device to compete with other tablets like the iPad during back-to-school shopping, the report noted.
Amazon will likely follow Apple's lead by adding features and design and performance improvements, but keeping the same price, CNET reported. The Kindle Fire currently sells for $199.
Rumors about new Kindles have been circulating for some time. Digitimes, which has a spotty track record when it comes to tech rumors, recently reported that Amazon is considering launching a new $199 7-inch tablet with a higher resolution 1,280-by-800-pixel display. Digitimes put the launch at the beginning of the third quarter.
Report: Amazon Plans Three New Kindle Fire Tablets
Amazon plans three new models of the Kindle Fire, according to a report from the China Economic News Service.
The service, citing reports from suppliers, claims that Amazon plans three new models of its popular tablet: three new models, a low-end 7-inch, 1,024-by-600 model; a midrange, 7-inch model with a higher 1,280-by-800 resolution; and a high-end, 8.9 inch tablet with a 1,920-by-1,200 display.
Hon Hai will join the ranks of ODMs, assembling the 7-inch, 1,024-by-600 low-end model. Qunata will manufacture the others, the report said. Chimei Innolux will supply the 7-inch flat-panel displays, while Prime View will source the 8.9-inch display.
CENS claims that Amazon expanded its partnership with the Tainwan ODM industry, a traditional route to lower costs. The tightly-knit network of suppliers also leaks many tidbits of information, as supplier talks to supplier. In other words, there's reason to believe that the report may be true, although the ODMs may also be disclosing preliminary talks that may not be completely fulfilled via contract.
Report: 7-Inch Google Tablet to Compete With Kindle Fire
Google in June threw its hat into the social-networking ring with the launch of Google+. Now it's rumored that Google wants to start competing in the tablet market too.
Citing sources from Google's upstream supply chain, Digitimes is reporting that Google is prepping a 7-inch tablet that will compete not with the market-dominating iPad, but rather the number-two Amazon Kindle Fire tablet.
The Taiwanese site alleged that the Google-made tablet will undercut Amazon's already affordable $199 Kindle Fire with an even lower price. It said the device will run on Android 4.0 (a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich) and debut in March or April.
Corroborating previous rumors, Digitimes also said the tablet could be a part of Google's Nexus brand.
But is there any truth behind this tidbit? While Digitimes frequently publishes unverified rumors and has a spotty record of accuracy, Google chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt said last month that the company will produce an Android tablet of "the highest quality" within the next six months.
Kindle Fire Is Number Two Tablet, But No iPad Killer
ISuppli predicted that Amazon will ship 3.9 million Kindle Fires in the last three months of 2011 to secure 13.8 percent of the market. Apple will hold fast to the majority of the tablet share, shipping 18.6 million iPads for 65.6 percent in the fourth quarter.
While that projection doesn't put the Kindle Fire tablet anywhere near unseating the iPad, Amazon's device has handily left every other tablet on the market in the dust and nabbed a larger share than other iPad competitors. The closest tablet to the Fire is the Samsung Galaxy Tab; iSuppli predicted Samsung will ship 1.4 million tablets for a 4.8 percent stake by the end of the year.
A recent Changewave report also noted that rather than steal from the iPad, the $199 Kindle Fire is eating at the market share of other non-Apple tablets.
A recent report from Digitmes corroborated iSuppli's estimate. Digitimes on Friday said "industry watchers" were reporting shipments of 3-4 million Fires from Quanta, Amazon's supplier in China, which is expected to reach 5 million by the end of December or the beginning of January.
Apple iPhone Battery Case Recalled Over Fire Risk
Best Buy said Wednesday that the company has recalled a Rocketfish battery case for older Apple iPhone models, as the battery inside may overheat, posing a fire risk.
Best Buy recalled the Rocketfish Model RF-KL12 battery case for the Apple iPhone 3G and 3GS in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission. The CPSC said that there have not been any incidents of fire, although 14 reports of overheating have been filed. There were also three reports of minor burns to consumers and four reports of minor property damage, Best Buy and the CPSC said.
The Rocketfish site notes that the RF-KL12 has been discontinued.
Unlike some bumpers and cases, the Rocketfish battery case contained its own battery, promising a total of twice the battery life of the one installed inside the phone itself.
Australian Plane Crew Extinguishes Smoking, Glowing iPhone
Australian regional airline Regional Express (REX) said Friday that a passenger's iPhone had glowed red and begun emitting dense smoke after the plane had landed.
No one was injured, REX said, and the "red glow" was successfully extinguished. REX posted a picture of the iPhone in question (left), but didn't identify the model of the handset. The incident reportedly occurred on Flight ZL319 operating from Lismore to Sydney.
The matter has been reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) as well as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for investigation and directions, the agency added.
Apple has previously investigated battery issues associated with the iPhone 4, although those have been totally unrelated to safety concerns. Consumers had previously complained about a bug in the battery in the iPhone 4S draining faster than they expected, prompting Apple to release an update, iOS 5.0.1. Some consumers weren't convinced, however, and Apple continues to look into battery issues with its latest smartphone.
Kindle Fire Eating Up Tablet Share, But Not Toppling iPad
As soon as Amazon announced the Kindle Fire tablet, it was positioned as the first device with real potential to knock the iPad off its throne. A new study from Changewave shows that while there is significant interest in the Kindle Fire, Amazon's tablet is swiping market share from other tablets rather than the iPad.
As reported by RegHardware, Changewave polled 3,000 North American consumers to find that 19 percent of them are thinking about buying a Fire. That breaks down to 2 percent who said they'd already ordered a Kindle Fire, 5 percent who said they were very interested in the tablet, and 12 percent who claimed they were "somewhat" likely to buy the device.
Apple's iPad still reigns supreme, but the Kindle Fire is gaining momentum. Changewave said 65 percent of respondents reported that they want an iPad. Nearly a quarter (22 percent) picked the Kindle Fire and just 4 percent chose the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Changewave noted that "no other manufacturer is garnering more than 1 percent of future tablet demand among consumers."
Amazon Shipping Kindle Fire Tablets Early
The official launch date for the Kindle Fire tablet is Nov. 15, but Amazon said today that it will be shipping the device a day early to those who have placed pre-orders.
"We're thrilled to be able to ship Kindle Fire to our customers earlier than we expected. Kindle Fire quickly became the bestselling item across all of Amazon.com, and based on customer response we're building millions more than we'd planned," Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. "Customers are excited about Kindle Fire because it is a premium product at the non-premium price of only $199."
New Barnes & Noble Nook Color on Nov. 7?
Will Barnes & Noble beat Amazon to market with a new color device? According to a report from The Digital Reader, the retailer will release an updated Nook on November 7.
Citing sources within Barnes & Noble, the blog said the company is planning a big launch on that date, though he had few details about what the new product might entail. One individual, who works in a Barnes & Noble store, told The Digital Reader that they have replaced a customer service counter with a huge Nook boutique.
"Our manager told us, this space was not designed to house just 2 nooks. He was being candid, he said, November 7th there will be a major announcement from the company. he concluded saying it was exciting times. Obviously something is coming," the source said. Another employee told the blog the same thing.
Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amazon Tablet So Hot It’s On ‘Fire’?
Amazon is expected to unveil a tablet on Wednesday and until today, that device was rumored to be named the "Kindle." Not so, according to TechCrunch, which reported this afternoon that the tablet will actually be known as the Kindle Fire.
The fiery device, meanwhile, will not ship until the second week of November, according to TechCrunch.
Amazon last week sent out invites for a Wednesday event in New York City. The company provided few other details about what it will announce, but it is widely expected to be a tablet.
Amazon tablet rumors have been floating around for months, but the company has not made any official announcements. Earlier this month, TechCrunch said it got a glimpse at the tablet, which will sell for $250, and hit shelves in late November.