Sunday, October 2, 2011

Digitimes is still at it -- predicting 10" Kindle tablet (Fireball?) before Christmas


To be fair, DigiTimes Systems' predictions have been fairly accurate -- where they've tended to fall short is in over-optimistic delivery dates. And this one is about an earlier than expected delivery date.

  I imagine they go by scheduled and estimated factory ship-dates and then assume the products will be ready to be shipped to customers immediately when some serious q&a would still have to be done.

  This story has been in my Google reader for a few days and I missed seeing it.

Digitimes' Ninelu Tu and Steve Shen report, on Sept. 30, some fairly 'soft' news, that:
' Amazon is expected to outsource the production of 10.1-inch tablet PCs to Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry), and shipments of the 10.1-inch tablets are likely to begin before year-end 2011 for holiday-season demand, according to industry sources. Foxconn declined to comment on market reports. '

While I wouldn't be surprised that Amazon might have more up its sleeve for the coming holidays, I think it would confuse the buyers.  There is also the danger that if they said anything like this MIGHT be coming, that would cause customers to hesitate on the 7" although I hear and read often that people are attracted to the smaller ones after having used 10" ones and found the larger ones were too awkward to carry around outside the home, for pleasure at least. They'd certainly be fine in briefcases.  And the pricing on smaller screens is definitely going to be more attractive on a new product when gift-giving is a focus in this economy.

 There's no description whatsoever of the expected product to be shipped, so this one seems a bit shaky to me.  Any source who knows of imminent shipments would have and would give more of an idea of what would be shipped other than its conventional screen size.

But I felt I should blog it, nevertheless.

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  1. I am one of those eagerly looking forward to a 7" tablet. Now that the Fire has been announced, I need to seriously sit down and assess my top ten list for a tablet to make sure that it doesn't fall short. I did not do that when I ran out and got the iPhone and had to deal with dissatisfaction for 2 years. I'm really having a problem with the lack of bluetooth and want to nail down any other issues I might have.

  2. OK, I read the Digitimes article such as it is. First I think the device they are talking about is not a KFire follow-on (which if it comes, I prefer "Bonfire" for the name over "Fireball" :lol.

    Reading MG Siegler's original article about the KFire, it is pretty apparent to me (reading between the lines) that the 10" device is not being developed by the group that did the Kfire.

    Other pundits have explained that development of the KFire was originally offered to Amazon's own Lab126, and "they passed".

    Lab126 is the source of all the eink kindles including (I presume) the new ones just announced. All of the eInk kindles are manufactured for Amazon by Foxconn (as mentioned in the Digitimes article). Foxconn is doing the 10" device (Quanta is doing the KFire).

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that what digitimes is talking about is an eInk device -- and that is the only device that I could possibly see Amazon adding to their Christmas lineup.

    This would also make sense in MG Siegler's comment that Amazon had not yet decided whether to release the 10" device. My guess is Amazon has a KDX follow-on in the pipeline, but they are not sure whether is makes sense anymore to bring it to market.

  3. Ed,
    As of this morning, that Digitimes article is readable for me only by the subscription. But it says specifically, "10.1-inch tablet PCs"
    And they refer to Kindle Fire as "7-inch tablet PC"

    Those historically are references to LCD tablets, and Foxconn was mentioned by them in an earlier issue I quoted as taking care of putting together the LCD 10" tablet.

    While they farmed out the design of the 7", supposedly Amazon itself was to be working on the 10". Time will tell! :-)

    The e-Ink size already not doable with economies of scale (not enough people want them at the price) is 9.7" and I have one, and they ought to just add a WiFi module to that same device and update the software to match the 3.x.x software for the Pearl screen.


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