Summer is upon us and as much as I like BBQs, long evenings and perfect beach days, the geek in me is more than looking forward to fall. Again it’s not that I don’t like summer, it’s just that fall is that time of year when so many new things arrive.
Your favourite television series is back, there are loads of new games, including one of my favorites, Assassin’s Creed 3, and this year it seems like Amazon is adding fuel to the fire, the Kindle Fire that is.
According to NPD Display Search senior analyst, Richard Shim, Amazon will begin production of follow-up models to its Kindle Fire in late summer, ahead of a possible fall rollout that is expected to bring new screen resolutions and 4G wireless compatibility to the seven-inch tablet. What is being called (at least for now) the “Kindle Fire 2” is said to be bringing at least three models to the market and could potentially have an 8.9-inch version in the works for a fourth quarter 2012 release.
Shim claims to have sources within the supply chain from a number of different parts manufacturers responsible for supply many of the Kindle Fire parts, and is predicting three distinct 7-inch models with the following production dates:
1,024-by-600 display, no camera — August production.
1,280-by-800 display with camera — August production.
1,280-by-800 display with camera and 4G connectivity — September production.
It is being said that an 8.9-inch version with a 1,920 by 1,200 pixel display is set to follow the production of the smaller models as well. Such a device would sit comfortably between the recently-released Google Nexus 7 and larger 9.7-inch Android tablets.
The next-generation Kindle tablets are expected to use either Texas Instruments’ OMAP chips or Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 processors. With the screens also being about on par with the Nexus 7 with a density of 216 pixels per inch, this is however still short of the third generation iPad’s 264 PPI Retina display. But this would still be a considerable improvement from the first Kindle’s 170 PPI. While pricing remains unknown it is expected to join in the more budget-friendly side like all the other Kindles.
And it doesn’t end there; more information seems to indicate that Amazon is currently going about covering all the bases it needs to by seeking out wireless technology patents to protect itself from legal action once it enters the smartphone market, which is something it plans on doing. This is according to Bloomberg sources, who said that Amazon is working on a handset that is to directly compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android smartphones.
As of right now, Amazon reportedly expressed interest in a set of wireless patents from InterDigital but lost out to Intel, which purchased the intellectual property for $375 million. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Amazon is currently “taking pitches and setting up briefings with other sellers”. One tipster mentioned that contract manufacturer Foxconn has also been tapped to produce the handset with Amazon.
Of course, we all know what can happen with law suits for patent infringement as Google, Motorola and Apple have been back and forth for quite a while.
Nothing is known about the upcoming handset or how far into development it has gone, but I will be keeping a close eye on this one for sure.