Considering my experience with my Kindle 2 over the last couple years, and my initial Kindle Fire impressions (mostly from a distance; I don’t own one), I’d prefer a more svelte ~7: Kindle Fire than one super-sized to iPad dimensions, at this point (in part because I also expect to continue being an iPad user…). I’m also still tempted by the Samsung Note smartphone/tablet tweener… In any case, it’s not surprising that Amazon wishes to avoid pulling an Osborne, and likely won’t announce the next wave of Kindle Fire devices until they’re ready to ship. Tangentially, I won’t be surprised if the next wave of Kindle Fire devices is based on Samsung hardware, but that’s just a hunch.
Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley this week raised his Fire sales estimate for this very reason. “We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million,” he wrote. “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.”
It’s been speculated upon before, but it’s interesting to hear that Amazon may have a 9-inch version of the Fire headed to market later this year, particularly now that we know Apple’s iPad 3 will debut next month. Makes you wonder how the retailer’s loss-leader strategy will translate to the larger-screen tablet market that Apple dominates.