The source also said, Carnoy reports, that Amazon is targeting July 31 for a launch event.
This is being told CNET while headlines have a rumored $200 Google Nexus 7" tablet (made by Asus) with Google's latest Android operating system of course (v4.1 "Jelly Bean"), due out any day, which I don't think is coincidental.
I haven't considered Google's tablet a threat to Amazon because of Google's non-reputation for direct customer support, while customer service is a huge strength of Amazon.
But Google's Nexus tablet will also have, per specs leaked online, "a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a GeForce 12-core graphics processor, front-facing camera, and 1GB of RAM. The IPS (in-plane switching) display will offer a 178-degree viewing angle with a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels. The entry-level 8GB model will reportedly retail for $199."
Carnoy says they can't confirm the Amazon launch date of course. Then he cites DigiTimes's recent article quoted by one and all (despite what Carnoy rightly calls a reputation for being 'pretty spotty on the rumor front' and which I said had about 60% accuracy in their past predictions) that was ultra vague about sourcing but expected a tablet with a higher resolution, 1280 by 800 pixel display "at the beginning of the third quarter." That would be July, which I said was too early for any to be ready.
CNET's sources didn't mention a higher resolution display but "did say that the new tablet would have a camera and physical volume-control buttons." Also not mentioned: Bluetooth capability, processor type, memory, expansion capabilities or Amazon's rumored ad-supported Kindle Fire Special Offers version.
Skype capability would be welcomed by many.
With all the current Amazon activity overseas, including requests that app developers from other countries submit Android apps for Amazon's Appstore, it's no surprise that a new Kindle Fire would be likely by Fall. Digital rights contracts overseas have been mentioned lately too (finally). If the launch IS July 31, they would likely not deliver until late August or September the way these things go.
The current Kindle Fire is expected to be kept, with a price reduction to $150 for those who don't need one with more features.
E-Ink Kindle with built-in front lighting
B&N's Glowlight has lit a fire under Amazon's development group too, but Amazon did buy technology for this (also leaked at an opportune time - just before B&N's announcement) and have been working on it.
Also, a front-lit e-reader is required by the State Dept's coming Mobile Learning Initiative project, in its negotiations with Amazon for a no-bid contract, currently stalled by the National Federation for the Blind.
This model should really be due even sooner, I'd think. Any concerns Amazon development team have about lessened contrast would be alleviated by the fact that this has been true for the Nook Glowlight, and people who buy them don't care that much although reviewers mention it and hope that the fonts can be darkened later.
But there is very strong competitive pressure to release both an updated Kindle Fire and an E-Ink type reader with built-in 'front' lighting, which needs to be under a 2nd, higher layer, as E-Ink devices can't be backlit -- or, to at least announce them.
Controlled leaks will come when it's more crucial to deal with the competition than to worry about customers waiting on future models before buying a current one. While there is always a 30-day full refund policy on Kindles, a July 31 launch indicates a late August delivery or later.
When the last set of Kindles was announced (Sept. 28 last year), the Kindle Fire delivery date was November 15, which would make the updated Kindle Fire delivery date probably more like Sept. 15, close to when Fall school sessions begin. But I have a hunch that Amazon will try for an earlier date.
Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire 7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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