News has hit the tubes that Amazon will soon be releasing a successor to its popular Kindle Fire tablet. The Kindle Fire 2, as it is currently being called, will sport a few upgrades over its predecessor but perhaps most notably will sport a larger 8.9 inch display.
The larger display not only hints that Amazon will be gunning for a higher end of the market, as a larger screen generally costs more. An 8.9 inch display is also much closer in size to the iPad and current leading Android tablets, meaning that the Kindle Fire 2 will have to compete with a different class of tablet than the original 7 inch Kindle Fire.
Of course the Kindle Fire 2 may take the opposite route and try to offer the larger-screen experience at similar low-end prices. The original Kindle Fire saw huge success due to its slimmed-down nature and low price-point of around $199. It stands to reason, then, that Amazon may try to continue its success in the budget tablet market.
However, with the recently announced Google Nexus 7 tablet it’s understandable that Amazon may wish to try its hand at a different area of the market. The Nexus 7 sports impressive specs for its price range ($199 and $249, depending on the model) and will be the first tablet that sports Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that is available commercially. While it’s possible that this new Kindle Fire 2 could potentially compete with the hardware of the Nexus 7, it’s very unlikely that it will feature Android Jelly Bean.
More believable would it launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and hoping for a fast upgrade to Jelly Bean. Unfortunately upgrades can usually take upwards of a few months, meaning that a similarly sized Kindle Fire with similar specs in the same price range would have huge difficulty competing with the Nexus 7.
The good news is that the Kindle Fire 2’s display will reportedly weigh in with a resolution of 1280×800, bringing the ppi up to an impressive 216. Still, with the Google Nexus 7 on its way and the iPad Mini rumoured with a September release the Kindle Fire 2 will have its work cut out for it. Right now we’re hearing that it will start hitting shelves in August, but that timeframe is obviously subject to change.
We’re keen to see what Amazon comes out with and the kind of approach they decide to take. A budget 8.9 inch Android tablet with a 1280×800 display would certainly find its buyers, but there’s going to be a lot more competition in all areas of the market than when the original made its debut. Still, we wouldn’t have picked that the original would have done so well back when we first started hearing rumours of it creeping around the web, so at this point anything is possible.