Market Overview

Threatened by Apple's iPad, Amazon Plans to Release Three New Tablets


Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) could be gearing up for round two of the tablet war against Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) by preparing multiple versions of the updated Kindle Fire.

Referred to as the Kindle Fire 2, the new tablet has not been officially announced by Amazon. But according to CNET, Amazon will release three seven-inch tablets this year.

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET that Amazon will kick off its tablet assault with a low-cost upgrade that features a 1,024x600 display. Similar to the original Kindle Fire, this tablet will not contain a camera, according to Shim. However, Shim said another version of the Kindle Fire 2 will feature a camera, as well as a 1,280x800 display. In addition, Shim said both devices will go into production this August.

In September, Amazon will begin producing a third version of the tablet that mirrors the camera/high-res model but also supports 4G, according to Shim. Furthermore, Shim said that, some time in the fourth quarter, Amazon will take its tablet onslaught one step further by producing an 8.9-inch tablet with a 1,920x1,200 display.

"These are supply chain indications," Shim told CNET. "This is what we are seeing right now."

In addition to the ongoing threat from Apple, which continues to lead the tablet market, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is entering the space with a $200 iPad-killer that might force Amazon to release the next Kindle Fire one or two months early.

Tablets and e-readers could only be the beginning for Amazon, however. Earlier today it was revealed that Amazon wants to build a top-tier Android-powered smartphone to cash in on the growing smartphone market, which could see shipments of more than 1.5 billion devices in 2012.

Follow me @LouisBedigianBZ

Posted-In: Amazon Apple Google iPad Kindle FireNews Rumors Tech Best of Benzinga


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