AppleInsider's article was unexpected. While I (and many others) have been hoping for a new eInk eReader release, no other electronics site has said anything about the eInk model, much less two.
Tucked away under the headline,"Amazon Kindle, tablet lineup will test the water for bigger form factors in 2012" are statements that Wednesday's announcements will include release information on "two new Kindle e-reader models" as well as the 7" Kindle tablet.
AppleInsider's Josh Ong posted the article at 5:44 PM PST, the page says, and after noticing the wording, I waited to see if other gadget news sites would have something similar.
I didn't find any. Also, the AppleInsider often cites Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as telling them what he knows but without a link, as there's no website involved.
Ong writes last night (Monday) that Kuo "has detailed three new products" to be announced on Wednesday at Amazon's media event. Also see Update
So, here is what Ong has written, based on what Kuo tells AppleInsider -- the information that Kuo has, differs some, Ong says, from what TechCrunch's MG Siegler has. Ong opens right off with:
' Online retailer Amazon is set to release two new Kindle e-reader models and an aggressively-priced 7-inch media tablet on Wednesday, as the company feels out the market in advance of larger 10.1-inch and 8.9-inch tablets planned for next year, according to a new report. '
Well, that's quite a statement. Comments section is focused on the Amazon tablet and no one has mentioned the e-readers that Kuo gives more details for, further into the story and which I'll repeat here (even if it turns out he's wrong -- it's just too interesting not to pass along.
FIRST, AN INTERESTING BIT ON THE TABLET, QUITE DIFFERENT FROM TECHCRUNCH'S
While Siegler prepared us for the possibility the Amazon tablet will be $300 rather than $250, Kuo has other ideas. All along, Amazon would have had to be thinking of managing expectations, I thought today, when Siegler's price estimate went up in his TechCrunch column.
Here's Kuo on that:
' According to a channel check by Kuo, the bill-of-materials for the device is expected to be $180.
Amazon may choose to price the device at an aggressive $199, Kuo said. That's cheaper than the $250 price that an earlier report had suggested. '
Ong also says that despite what TechCrunch has reported re Kindle Fire launching the 2nd week of November, Kuo "expects the device to launch in late September..."
TWO E-INK READERS?
And the key information for those of us who are interested in continuation of the Kindle e-Ink eReader line, with whatever improvements they have in mind, heres what Kuo is telling AppleInsider as of yesterday, or what would be called the "money paragraph" *IF* Kuo has strong basis for his information:
' In addition to its much-anticipated media tablet, Amazon will also release two new versions of its popular Kindle e-reader, Kuo noted. The low-end version, codenamed Tequila, may cost as little as $99 and will feature a Freescale i.MX515 processor with an integrated controller that should provide "better system design and lower cost."
The high-end Kindle, which is codenamed Whitney, will sport the same processor, while also including features missing on the Tequila, such as touch controls, 3G connectivity and a speaker. According to Kuo, the Whitney will not arrive until early October because of a "more complicated design and assembly." '
For Kuo's expectations on how many units Amazon will ship, of the tablet and the two e-Ink readers, by the end of 2011, as well as other descriptions, see Ong's full story. The figures are high.
A commenter to the story writes he's heard these rumors. But there are no other reports like this out there as of this morning (early Tuesday).
If you hear more either way, on that or on Kuo as a reliable analyst, please let us know in the comments area.
REMINDER: I have *NO* idea at all whether Kuo's information has strong basis behind it, but his info seems quite trusted by AppleInsider. His information is based on "industry contacts" and "supply chain sources."
Update - Also note that after discussing the 10" tablet expected in early 2012, Ong references Kuo on something else that's very interesting:
' The company is also reportedly preparing an 8.9-inch tablet with an "amazing form factor" for release in the second half of 2012, though suppliers are said to be having a tough time meeting Amazon's requirements for the device. '
I imagine that might be the hybrid dual-screened (back-to-back) e-paper/LCD screen that many have said is an actual work project at Amazon for next year.
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