Rumor: Kindle Fire 3 to Launch in September 2013
Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) third-generation Kindle Fire is rumored to launch in roughly 10 months.
Citing information from China's Economic Daily News, DigiTimes reports that Compal Electronics has landed orders for the new tablet. Compal is expected to produce 20 to 30 percent of the estimated three to four million units that Amazon will reportedly ship next year. Quanta will handle the rest of the manufacturing duties.
The paper claims that the Kindle Fire 3 will ship in September 2013. This is not a hard prediction to make; while Amazon saved the 8.9-inch model for last month, the company released the seven-inch upgrade in September 2012 -- roughly 11 months after the original Kindle Fire arrived.
Amazon has yet to announce any concrete sales figures for the Kindle Fire HD, but the company did reveal that Cyber Monday turned out to be the "biggest day ever for Kindle sales worldwide." Kindle tablets and e-readers continue to be the best-selling devices on Amazon.com, where they are prominently featured on the front page.
Last week Amazon announced that it had launched its own software marketplace in Japan. Square Enix -- which is best known for the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises -- is one of the first companies slated to provide software to the store.
While Amazon endured a few declines last month, its shares are currently enjoying a one-month rise of more than eight percent. The online retailer grew more than 17 percent over the last six months. Year-to-date Amazon is up more than 40 percent.
Despite the hoopla for Kindle Fire's success, no one knows exactly how many units Amazon has sold. The same is true for the Kindle Fire's chief competitor, Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. The latter is a bit young for a sales report, but the Nexus 7 was released nearly six months ago.
Thus far, only Asus (which manufactures the Nexus 7) has indicated how well the tablet is performing. According to the company, Google is now selling close to one million units per month. In 2013, Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson estimates that Google will sell a combined total of 10 million tablets.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), the persistent worldwide leader of the tablet market, has already sold 100 million iPads worldwide. The company sold three million additional tablets in three days when the iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad arrived at retail. During the third quarter, Apple dominated the Chinese tablet market, selling an estimated 1.8 million tablets. Samsung, the company's arch rival in the smartphone space, was not nearly as successful, selling an estimated 91,000 tablets.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), the apparent third (or fourth) wheel in tablet production, has decided to follow Amazon and Google's lead and not release any specific sales figures for its tablets. However, the company did report that Nook sales doubled over Black Friday weekend.
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