By Akansha Srivastava | Jul 02, 2012 12:21 PM EDT
Since the launch of Apple's new iPad, the competition among major tablet vendors has heated up.
When it comes to buying a tablet, a vast majority of consumers have always chosen Apple iOS devices over others in the market, and, consequently, the tech giant has been able to maintain a strong grip in the business over the years.
While the new iPad remains the market leader in the media tablet segment, there is one tablet that definitely steals the spotlight - Amazon's Kindle Fire.
Previously, rumors were rife that Amazon might launch three new tablets in 2012. Recently, BGR reported that the major retailer will launch two new Kindle Fire tablets in the coming months.
Apple has been long rumored that it would minimize the sizes and prices of their hot-selling iPad and launch a new tablet Apple iPad Mini with a 7-inch display, in an attempt to capture the entry-level tablet market which Amazon Kindle Fire lords over. However, Amazon is not giving up without a fight and is reportedly prepping the launch of a new Kindle Fire, dubbed Kindle Fire 2, to take the challenge to Apple's camp.
The recent reports suggest that Amazon will launch a 10-inch Kindle Fire, dubbed "Hollywood." The tablet will be powered by a quad-core processor.. Additionally, Amazon is simultaneously readying a new version of its 7-inch Kindle Fire, which will be powered by a dual-core processor.
Analysts believe Amazon is playing a big shot this time, as the latter one is expected to heat up the competition against the recently unveiled Google-branded, Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet and the highly rumored Apple iPad Mini.
According to BGR sources, the original Kindle Fire's plastic body will be replaced by matte black metal, with a shiny, chrome-like "rib" on the back that would give a sharp and enhanced look and feel to the tablet.
Furthermore, Amazon's new Kindle Fire 2 tablets will be thinner and more similar in appearance to the first-generation Apple iPad, but without any buttons on the front.
In addition, the 10-inch Kindle Fire will house a front-facing camera, and both new tablets will include microUSB ports and, possibly, HDMI-out jacks, said the report.
Earlier reports have claimed that the new Kindle Fire will boast a camera with physical volume control buttons, but there was no information on whether Bluetooth will be added or not.
Recently, DigiTimes reported the 7-inch tablet will sport a display with higher resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels . The existing Kindle Fire's display has 600 x 1024 pixels.
Price and Release Date
Latest media reports have suggested that Amazon will unveil the second-generation Kindle Fire this summer and it is targeting a launch this month itself. Citing anonymous sources, CNET reported last week that Amazon's Kindle Fire 2 will be announced on July 31.
The device will be priced at $199, but the reports have not confirmed, whether the price tag mentioned is for the 7-inch version or 10-inch version. However it's logical to assume that the price point is for the 7-inch device.
Industry watchers had speculated in the past that Amazon was planning to launch the 7-inch tablet at the beginning of the third quarter and the company is also expected to reduce the price of the existing Kindle Fire to $149. If that happens, Amazon will be following the steps of Apple, which brought down the price of its iPad 2 by $100 when it introduced the new iPad.
This is an interesting turn of events with the latest speculations, as it would mean Amazon going head-to-head with both Google and Apple. The 7-inch Kindle Fire would directly compete with the Nexus 7, while the 10-inch Kindle Fire could be seen as a cheaper alternative for those who want a larger tablet but do not want to spend a fortune on a pricey tablet like the iPad.
After all, it's nothing new for Amazon to follow this 'price drop' strategy. Going back to last year, when the original Kindle Fire hit the retail channel on Nov. 15, 2011, assembled by Quanta and based on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's core design, reports informed that Amazon went with the "stock" design, in order to raid the market with its own tablet before the 2011 holiday season. The gamble worked with sales of over 4.7 million units by the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 16.8 percent tablet market share.
Amazon certainly caused a few ripples in the tablet pool with its $199 Android-based gadget. And now, with all these rumored reports hinting at the Amazon Kindle Fire launches lined up for 2012, one wonders what the company could increase that percentage to. Though the 10-inch Kindle Fire may not be able to size up to the iPad, the 7-inch Kindle Fire 2 will definitely be peppy against Google Nexus 7 and of course, the original Kindle Fire obviously will meet the needs of those who want a budget tablet.
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