Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been a massive success story in America with its sales out-pacing those of traditional Android tablets – new rumours are beginning to surface about its successor, including a UK release date, price and specs – we’ll roundup everything you need to know about this media-focused tablet.
As you may well know the Kindle Fire hasn’t actually been released in the UK – it’s not because Amazon don’t want to – it’s more down to the fact that they haven’t secured the necessary media deals to be able to release the device outside of the US.
It’s thought that Amazon won’t bother releasing the current version in the UK – but will release a new and improved version for European markets.
The Kindle Fire 2 will be the second foray into the tablet market for the online retailer – with the latest rumours coinciding with rumours that Apple will look to strike back and release an iPad mini in 2012 to try and stave off any competition from Amazon.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2: UK release date and Screen Size
It’s is thought that Amazon wants to release the Kindle Fire 2 in spring 2012 in the US – that date comes from the Asian IT site Digitimes – it’s thought that the UK date isn’t set in stone just yet, and the new tablet will launch in the UK shortly after the US release.
The site has also reported in March that Taiwan-based Quanta Computers, which is one the world’s leading notebook manufacturers, has already been given orders from Amazon to begin working on the new tablet.
But this rumour seems to have been kicked into touch more recently as it has since emerged that the Kindle Fire 2 will be made by Foxconn, the same company that handles Apple production.
It’s thought that if Amazon does get the device manufactured by Foxconn this will give the retailer a far greater capacity to work with, especially if they want to release the tablet in Europe.
UK broadsheet, The Telegraph, amongst others, predicts the new Kindle Fire 2 will go into production in the first quarter of 2012 and will come with a 8-9-inch touch screen.
At the moment there’s no real evidence of what screen size Amazon will go with, as we’ve had rumours of 9.7-inches, 10.1-inches and even 8.9-inches.
An analyst writing in February 2012 predicted a 9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, as well as a refreshed 7-inch model by the middle of 2012.
Chad Bartley of Pacific Crest believes the new Kindle will be so successful that he has already increase the sales estimate from an impressive 12 million unites to and eye-watering 14.9 million units.
“We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million,” he wrote in a note to investors.
“But we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7 and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.”
Amazon Kindle Fire 2: Processor to be a quad-core Tegra?
Now this seems highly unlikely to us, as the Kindle was sold at a loss and therefore Amazon didn’t give the original Fire a killer specs list. But Boy Genius Report predicted back in May that Amazon was “planning on releasing at least two before the end of the year… the big boy? That’s codenamed ‘Hollywood’ and will be based on the Nvidia Tegra 3 which will bring a screaming quad-core processor with a 500% performance increase”.
This would make the Kindle Fire incredibly fast and would be good news for consumers as we’ve heard that the current Fire is a bit of a slouch – but if it does turn out to be true it certainly wouldn’t be retailing at $200. The first Kindle was sold at a loss – but with the quad-core power plant under the hood Amazon would surely lose even more money.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2: The Kindle Fire Amazon really wanted to make
A “source” close to the company spoke to Gdgt and has claimed that the Kindle Fire 2 is the tablet that Amazon actually wanted to make, but couldn’t as they couldn’t get it out to market in time for the Christmas rush.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2: Operating system is Android
You may not know this but the original Fire was running a stripped out version of Android – they’ve taken out anything to suggest it is Google-owned and added a new simple user interface (are you listening Google?).
The use of Android was a stroke of genius by Amazon and created an interesting situation where the Kindle is the most successful Android tablet in the US – even though it’s the tablet with the weakest specs sheet and has no real association with Google. Expect the Fire 2 to have the same solid integration with the Amazon app store and media services, rather than Android market and Google books.
Amazon Kindle Fire 2: To rival the iPad or not?
One of Amazon’s best decisions was not to try and take on the competion with a direct copy (ahem Samsung) so the Fire did not come with a camera, a microphone or GPS – will Amazon do the same again? We’re not sure the Kindle Fire 2 needs them: if it wants to be an iPad rival then yes, such things are important, but they’re not necessarily deal-breakers for sofa surfing that Kindle Fire struck a chord with.