Kindle Fire 2 Features Review

Kindle Fire 2 is now available at Amazon.

Available for preorder now. Ships September 14th.

Please Note: We’ll keep updating this Kindle Fire 2 post as more information comes out.

Kindle Fire 2 Features Review – Top 10 Features

More details as Amazon reveals them.

  1. Price – $159. Definitely the killer feature. Ships September 14th.
  2. Screen – LCD. Not HD but that’s the price you pay for the $159 price. 7″ screen. 1024 by 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi. IPS technology.
  3. Content Availability – All Amazon Content.
  4. Size (Weight and Compactness) – 14.1 ounces weight. 7.44″ by 4.72″ by 0.45″ dimensions.
  5. Option for Ad Supported Kindle Fire 2 – Only Ad Supported Kindle Fire 2 is available. Guess that’s how they reduced the price to $159.
  6. New Features – Faster Processor, 40% faster performance, double the RAM (so 1 GB RAM), longer battery life.
  7. Design – Seems very similar.

You can get more Kindle Fire 2 details at The Verge.

Kindle Fire 2 Features Review – Specifications

  1. Screen -
  2. RAM Memory – 1 GB RAM.
  3. Storage Memory – 8 GB of which 5.5 GB is available for user content.
  4. Processor – Faster Processor. Dual-Core 1.2 GHz OMAP 4430.
  5. Touch – 2 point multitouch.
  6. Weight – 14.1 ounces.
  7. Dimensions – 7.44″ by 4.72″ by 0.45″.
  8. OS – Same OS.
  9. Battery Life – 9 hours battery life. Also lists 8.5 hrs.
  10. WiFi – Single band WiFi.
  11. Audio – Stereo Speakers and 3.5 mm stereo jack.
  12. USB Port – No. Just a micro-USB port for charging.
  13. Durability – Gorilla Glass screen.
  14. Included – USB 2.0 cable. No power adapter.

Kindle Fire 2 Thoughts

What are my personal five favorite things about the Kindle Fire 2?

  1. Price. $159 is really good.
  2. Double the RAM and 40% faster performance is good.
  3. Not that many improvements.

What are the things I don’t like?

Still looks too boxy. They should have redesigned it. Perhaps that’s asking too much.

Inclusion of Ads sucks.

Will update this post as more information comes out.

Kindle Fire 2 is available at Amazon for $159.

Kindle Fire 2, possible 10″ Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite confirmed in TV AD

Devices now available, as are my reviews of features and thoughts:

Amazon just ran an Ad showing off a new Kindle Fire 2, the new Kindle Touch Paperwhite, and … drum roll … what looks like a 10″ (or perhaps 11″) Large Screen Kindle Fire with a ulta thin bezel and a clip-on keyboard (or perhaps some sort of ultra thin laptop).

When available, you will find Kindle Fire 2 and 10″ Kindle Fire 2 at this link at Amazon. You can bookmark it now and check at 10:30 am PST if you like.

When available, Kindle PaperWhite (Kindle Touch with Light) will be available at this link.

Here’s the Kindle Fire 2 & 10″ Kindle Fire Ad (via The Verge) -

Kindle Fire 2 – What can we tell

  1. There seems to be quite a bezel and it seems to be the same on all edges. Kindle Fire 1 had an uneven bezel (above the screen was thinner than below the screen).
  2. There seem to be buttons at the top.
  3. It’s very strange but there seem to be two different sets of bezels. Perhaps there are two separate models of the 7″ Kindle Fire 2.

Kindle Fire 2 10″ – What can we tell

  1. There’s definitely something that looks like a large screen Kindle Fire 2. It looks like 10″ or even 11″.
  2. There’s a power button at the bottom.
  3. The bezel is very thin.
  4. There seems to be a keyboard attached. Perhaps a clip-on keyboard.

Update: After seeing the video again it’s not 100% clear that this is a Kindle Fire  10″. It might be a strangely designed laptop or notebook. Is is a laptop from Amazon?

Kindle PaperWhite (Kindle Touch with Light) – What can we tell

  1. Looks very similar to Kindle Touch.
  2. Hard to tell how much better screen contrast is. The leaked images do suggest there is a noticeable improvement.
  3. They showed the Kindle Paperwhite twice.

Updates soon. Just searching for more information.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Kindle Phone Details – Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Live Updates

Update Devices and my Reviews/Thoughts available now.

When available, Kindle Fire 2 and (if it exists) Kindle Fire 2 10″ will be available at Amazon.

When available, Kindle PaperWhite (Kindle Touch with Light) will be available at this link.

Live Blog – Kindle Fire 2, Kindle Phone, Kindle Touch 2, 10″ Kindle Fire Conference

Status at 3:06 pm PST: Thanks for following along. The last announcement was the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE with its amazing data plan. 250 MB a month and 20 GB cloud storage for just $50 for the first year.

Amazon still doesn’t have links live yet. So waiting to see when links and information will go live.

Status at 2:44 pm PST: Kindle Fire HD is available in 7″ and 8.9″ models.

Status at 2:43 pm PST: The screen looks pretty amazing. Mr. Bezos is showing off a magazine and it’s very pretty. Even zoomed up it’s very clear. Will have to see it in person. But looks like a major winner so far.

Status at 2:41 pm PST: The Kindle Fire HDs look really good. Price will be critical. Can Amazon bring them in at $199/$249 and $299/$349. That would be a major win.

Status at 2:38 pm PST: Don’t know what to think of the Reading Immersion and X-Ray for Movies features. Guess some people must like such stuff. WhisperSync for Games – As if people don’t waste enough time already on games. Now they can synchronize their time wasting.

Status at 2:29 pm PST: More details on Kindle HD 8.9″. Including – very fast processor, HD screen with 1920 by 1200 resolution, double antennas, dolby digital plus, stereo speakers, 254 ppi screen, 25% less glare due to laminated touch sensor, dual WiFi.

Status at 2:14 pm PST: My thoughts on Kindle Touch 2 (Kindle Paperwhite) and Kindle HD 8.9″. The latter is not officially announced yet. For both will add details as more details are revealed.

Status at 1:53 pm PST: Kindle Paperwhite being shown. 4 years of R&D. Jeff Bezos talking about longer battery life than Nook with GlowLight. HD screen with 212 ppi. 25% more contrast. 62% more pixels (compared to Kindle Touch presumably). 9.1 mm thick.

Light = Flattened out Fiber Optic Display.

Status at 1:43 pm PST: Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ confirmed (our EXCLUSIVE scoop). So Amazon is releasing a 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD in two models – regular and 4G. The Press Conference is finally starting.

Status at 1:17 pm PST: 2 year and 3 year protection plans for Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite 3G are showing up at Amazon. That confirms that Kindle Touch 2 will be in WiFi and 3G versions.

Status at 1:14 pm PST: CNet has a really good Kindle Fire 2 Live Blog with Live Video. Worth a look.

Status at 1:10 pm PST – People are entering the Aeroplane Hangar. Wouldn’t it be funny if Jeff Bezos shows off an inter-planetary aeroplane instead of a Tablet. Wonder how many of the journalists would be like – Show us something meaningful like a shiny gadget we can use to impress our friends. What’s all this space travel nonsense. It’s so 1960s.

Status at 12:59 pm PST – Lots of live blogs are kicking off. I’ll be looking at the most interesting ones (Engadget, ABC (to see a non-techy perspective), The Verge (very Apple biased in an amusing & delusional sort of way), GigaOM) and writing updates.

Status at 12:52 pm PST. For all those people wondering WHY Amazon would want to get into phones, consider this – Samsung sold 20 million Galaxy SIIIs in the first 100 days of availability. Now consider this – A user with a Kindle Phone is a user who is more likely to buy EVERYTHING from Amazon. As a bonus Amazon doesn’t have to advertise and doesn’t have to pay Google for traffic and isn’t dependent on someone else. In most industries people pay $100 to $200 to $500 for a customer acquisition. If Amazon can do it by selling cheap Kindle Fires and Kindles and possibly Kindle Phones – then all the more better for it.

Status at 12:26 pm PST. We are one hour away. I’ve never seen ANY kindle event get even close to the number of live blogs. Amazon’s doing something right on the PR/Buzz front. Everyone from ABC to Engadget to Wired to Niche Blogs are doing live blogs.


From Yesterday:

This post is a Kindle Fire 2, Kindle Phone Preview PLUS Live Blog PLUS Follow-Up post.

To be Updated Tomorrow. Starting approximately 10:30 am PST.

From some Aeroplane Hanger in California we’ll find out about Kindle Fire 2 and Kindle Touch Paper White. Perhaps even about Kindle Phone.


Tomorrow, on the sixth day of September of the year 2012, Amazon is going to astonish us with how amazing the new Kindle Fire 2 and the new Kindle Phone and the new Kindle Touch are. Of course, it might also disappoint us by giving in to its incremental update gone crazy philosophy (Kaizen done wrong).

Regardless, this post will be updated continuously with the latest updates.

  1. Before the Conference: All the little interesting things that come up. Such as rumors of Foxconn manufacturing the Kindle Phone in the very same factories that manufacture iPhones.
  2. During the Conference: The Reveal. Kindle Fire 2 – Almost Certainly. Kindle Phone – perhaps. Kindle Touch with Light (aka Paper White) – Yes, undoubtedly.
  3. After the Conference: Details as photos and videos and oohs and aahs and ‘but it doesn’t have volume buttons’ articles show up everywhere.

Before the Kindle Fire 2, Kindle Phone Conference

12:26 pm EST Update – Shifting post format to feature actual conference at the top. It’ll be in reverse cronological order.

11:51 am EST Update (September 6th): Kobo has announced a new Tablet and a new eReader. Digital Trends has mentioned that the new Nook Tablet 2 might be out by end September (highly unlikely in my opinion) and would run Windows 8 (also highly unlikely, given Windows 8 launch date is October 28th).

12:23 am EST Live Update (September 6th): The Kindle Fire 2, what might be a Kindle Fire 10″ with a clip-on keyboard, Kindle Paperwhite Ad:

It seems possible that a 10″ Kindle Fire will be released. Awesome! Would be great to see Amazon step up to the plate and take on the Animated Page Turns Company.

11:01 pm EST Update:

  1. Strong Rumors (strong = lots of, not necessarily realistic) of an Amazon TV or set top box.
  2. Claims that a Kindle Phone is confirmed. The Verge has a photo of a supposed Kindle phone that is showing the Amazon Android App Store. Has it fallen again for a photoshopped fake?
  3. Amongst the comments at The Verge is the hypothesis that Amazon might try to be its own carrier and push a low priced Smartphone. Sounds logical. However, it also sounds awfully brave.

I do think that a Kindle Phone will be called Kindle Blaze.

The most interesting tidbits that have been revealed in the last week or so -

  1. Dual Screen Kindle Phone - the top highly unlikely and yet highly appealing rumor.
  2. Logs showing a Kindle Fire KFTT with Android 4.0.3 as OS (Ice Cream Sandwich). Will Kindle Fire 2 be using Android 4.0.3? What does the TT in KFTT stand for. Triple Touch?
  3. B&N Nook Tablet 2 with 243 dpi screen (which would mean amazing clarity). Interesting how B&N leaks this information one day before the Kindle Fire 2 Announcement.
  4. Kindle Fire 2 $149 model with Ads looking more and more likely.
  5. Kindle Fire 2 with specs matching Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet.
  6. Kindle Fire 2 with dual screens on opposite sides – eInk on one side, LCD on the other.
  7. Foldable Kindle Fire 2.
  8. lets us know that a Kindle Phone is likely as Foxconn has probably been tasked with making one and Amazon has been hiring Windows Phone executives.

We cover Kindle Fire 2 Rumors extensively in our Kindle Fire 2, Nook Tablet 2 Predictions post.

After the Kindle Fire 2, Kindle Phone Conference

Kindle Fire 2 Analysis, Review of Kindle Fire 2 Features. Thoughts on Kindle Phone (if announced).

So bookmark this page and check back tomorrow at 10:30 am PST (or anytime after that).

Kindle Fire 2, Nook Tablet 2 Predictions & Rumors

Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are both going to see their successors arrive shortly.

It’s rather imperative that Kindle Fire 2 and Nook Tablet 2 are compelling devices. They already have to compete with Google Nexus 7. They might have to compete with an iPad Mini. They will have to compete with Windows Surface Tablets.

With that context in mind (i.e. Kindle Fire 2 and Nook Tablet 2 are likely to determine whether Amazon and B&N survive in the Tablet Space) let’s look at some Kindle Fire 2, Nook Tablet 2 predictions and rumors.

Kindle Fire 2 Rumors

Let’s look at all the Kindle Fire 2 Rumors that have come up and consider their likelihood of being true -

  1. 10″ Kindle Fire 2 not arriving on September 6th. Likelihood: High. Not sure why Amazon shied away from going up against iPad in 2011. It’s quite possible Amazon chickens out again and sticks to 7″ Tablets. Which would be a shame - the market for a low priced 10″ Tablet is very large. It also attacks iPad where it hurts.
  2. 7″ Kindle Fire 2 with Ads option. Likelihood: Almost Guaranteed. Amazon gets to undercut everyone on price. It’s already tested this feature extensively on eInk Kindles (where it actually makes less sense).
  3. Two 7″ Kindle Fire 2 models. Likelihood: High. One with Ads and one Ad-Free.
  4. 7.85″ or 8.5″ Kindle Fire 2 model. Likelihood: Low. This would be a very cool addition. However, the economies of scale for 8.5″ Kindle Fires might not exist yet.
  5. Color eInk Screen. Likelihood: Low. This would be very cool but it’s perhaps far away from being in usable shape.
  6. Dual Screen (Either a Folding Tablet or a Tablet with LCD on the front and eInk on the Back). Likelihood: Low to Medium. While a very striking idea, it’s worth noting than a 7″ eInk screen would cost approximately $25 to $55 (guesstimate). That’s way too much given Amazon is wedded to keeping prices low.
  7. Free Kindle Fire 2 with 3 Year Prime Membership OR 2 year Book Buying Agreement ($20 per month for 2 books a month). Likelihood: Medium. If offered, this would be one option out of many and there might be very strict terms.
  8. Kindle Fire 2 with Amazing New LCD Screen. Likelihood: Low. Nook Tablet 2 is far more likely to use a new screen technology.
  9. International Release. Likelihood: Almost Guaranteed. Amazon App Store has been expanded to lots of European countries. It seems almost guaranteed that Kindle Fire 2 will be available in lots of European countries by end of 2013. Perhaps even at launch.
  10. Folding Screen. Likelihood: Low. Amazon has a patent for a Triple Folding Tablet. Might that be Kindle Fire 2? It’s very unlikely. It would be very cool if it happens.

For the last 2 to 4 years, we’ve been talking about how color eInk and/or dual screens (eInk+LCD) would give a company a huge advantage in the Tablet and eReader markets. Perhaps it’s just not feasible yet. Perhaps the price involved makes it unpractical. I still think a screen that can switch between eInk and LCD (or uses Color eInk) is an unbeatable proposition. Apple might be the company that brings that to market (sad given that Amazon and B&N have been making eInk eReaders for years and years).

Related Rumor: Kindle Smartphone. Likelihood: Medium to High. I would put this as Very High based on my gut instinct. Unfortunately, Amazon has shown an amazing ability to avoid and/or delay moves that make perfect sense. It might very well delay Kindle Phone to 2013 or even 2014. Despite the fact that now is when Apple is most vulnerable.

If Amazon’s only ‘innovation’ is an Ad supported, cheaper 7″ Kindle Fire – Well, that would be sad. It would make their Press Releases seem even more ridiculous and needy.

Nook Tablet 2 Rumors

Let’s list the Nook Tablet 2 rumors and their likelihood of being true -

  1. Amazing New Screen Technology. Likelihood: Quite High. B&N’s Nook Tablet screen still holds up very well. B&N has had two years to work on improving its Tablets (Nook Color came out in October/November 2010). There are rumors that B&N has been working with another company on ‘revolutionary’ screen technology never seen in any device. It is possible, though by no means guaranteed, that B&N’s Nook Tablet 2 really will come out with an amazing new screen technology.
  2. New Media Types. Likelihood: Very High. The partnership with Microsoft means access to music and movies and other media. There are also rumors that Nook Tablet 2 will have types of media never seen before on tablets. Not sure what that means – perhaps it will start playing Vinyl Records.
  3. Xbox Game Streaming and Xbox Live Integration. Likelihood: Medium and Very High. There will almost certainly be Xbox Live integration of some sort. Whether Xbox games will be streamed (the way OnLive and Gaikai stream games) is hard to predict.
  4. Windows 8 based Nook Tablet 2. Likelihood: Medium for a Separate Nook Tablet 2. It’s very unlikely that B&N will drop all its investment into Android and its current OS and switch to Windows 8 in 2012. It is, however, very likely (and also quite sensible) to release a SEPARATE Windows 8 based Nook Tablet 2 (either now or in 2013).
  5. Color eInk. Likelihood: Low to Medium. Color eInk just might not be ready. So the chances of the ‘amazing new screen technology’ being color eInk are quite low.
  6. Drastic Improvement to LCD Screen. Likelihood: High. B&N has focused a lot on the screen and on things like avoiding glare. The natural long-term direction for that focus would be a huge LCD screen technology improvement, a shift to Pixel Qi type screens that have multiple modes, or a shift to color eInk screens. Given that color eInk is very far off, the only natural choices left are - Pixel Qi, a big improvement in LCD screen technology.
  7. Kinect. Likelihood: Very Low. This would be a really amazing addition. For me, the most obvious Microsoft technology Nook Tablet 2 could benefit from is Kinect. It would allow for gesture based operation of the Tablet and give it a uniqueness no other Tablet has. It would be an unmatched feature. Note: Kinect would also allow for a ‘virtual keyboard’ that lets you type on any surface.
  8. International Availability. Likelihood: High. B&N is bringing its eInk eReaders to UK this Fall. Bringing Nook Tablet 2 to UK and rest of Europe seems the obvious next step. B&N could really help its bottom line by selling Nook Tablet 2 outside of the US. There is huge demand worldwide for really well made, low-price Tablets. There is more than enough room for a good, solid Tablet like Nook Tablet.

It’s interesting that -

  • The Media totally ignores B&N’s Nook Tablet (to the point of claiming that Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire ‘created’ the 7″ Tablet Market).
  • The only rumors about Nook Tablet 2 involve – new screen technology, new media types, Xbox integration, Windows 8. There has been no mention of 10″ Nook Tablets or Dual Screens or anything else.

B&N is a bit of a wild card. When companies are faced with huge odds, or their impending demise, they are likeliest to come up with the most creative ideas and the best products. Of all the companies introducing Tablets this year, B&N is the one with the strongest motivation to make something amazing. Its survival in the Tablet Market, and perhaps even its future existence, depends on Nook Tablet 2.

Kindle Fire 2 Predictions

I can only see two paths here.

Path 1: Hype and then a No-Show.

Kindle Fire 2 would be a slightly improved Kindle Fire 1. It would be somewhat competitive with Nexus 7. There would be a cheaper Kindle Fire 2 with Ads. There would be a 3G model with data charges but a very low upfront free ($50 or Free).

Amazon has shown in the past (Kindle Touch and Kindle WiFi) that it will sometimes hype a product launch that should not be hyped. Let’s hope that isn’t the case with all the Kindle Fire 2 hoopla.

Path 2: Hype and A Real Winner

We would have some of the options above. We would also have two real winners -

  1. Kindle Fire 2 Pro with a Color eInk or Dual LCD+eInk screen.
  2. Kindle Fire 2 Prime which is free when you sign up for Amazon Prime for 3 years ($210 or so) OR a 3 year Book-Buying Subscription.

Either of the above would make the Kindle Fire 2 very, very hard to compete with.

If Amazon takes Path 2, then by April 2013 it would release a very similar 10″ Kindle Fire 2 Model. If it takes Path 1, then it would probably stick with 7″ Kindle Fires for a long time.

Nook Tablet 2 Predictions

Things are more nuanced here. My prediction here would be that B&N ships a Nook Tablet 2 based on Android in October 2012. It would then ship a Nook Tablet 3 based on Windows 8 in March or April 2013.

  1. Nook Tablet 2 (Fall 2012) – Amazing new screen technology that is not quite revolutionary but gives B&N a unique selling point. Very strong device overall. Lots of new media types and integration with Xbox. B&N survives but doesn’t necessarily become the front-runner in low-price Tablets.
  2. Nook Tablet 3 (April 2013) – Here we get the actual revolutionary screen technology (color eInk or something as impressive). We also get Windows 8 as the Operating System. We get Xbox Games streaming.

B&N would keep Nook Color and Nook Tablet 1 available as low-priced models. These would compete against Kindle Fire 2 with Ads.

Best Case Kindle Fire 2 and Nook Tablet 2 Predictions

What would be best for users and competition would be -

  1. Kindle Fire 2 – Color eInk or Dual LCD. A PROPER Design. 7″ and 8.5″ and 10″ Models. Kindle Phone (with strong integration with Kindle Fire 2). Subscription Model with Books and Prime Subscriptions = Free Kindle Fire 2. International Availability.
  2. Nook Tablet 2 – Amazing new LCD technology. Windows 8 and Android Models. 7″ and 9″ Models. Kinect Support now or in early 2013. Xbox Games streaming. Book Subscription Model that offers heavily subsidized Nook Tablet 2. Lots of new types of Media Content. Availability of types of Media that have not been available on Tablets so far. International Availability (at least 4-5 big countries).

If Amazon and B&N could deliver all these things, or even half of these things, then they would eat away large chunks of the Tablet Market this Holiday Season and in 2013. Customers have shown they will buy Low Price, High Value Tablets. Amazon’s claim of 22% market share in the US, if true, and decent sales for both Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet (which seems quite likely given all the data points) highlight that. Lack of international availability is hurting both companies and their biggest opportunity is probably expanding worldwide.

Kindle Fire 2 and Nook Tablet 2 carry the Tablet hopes of Amazon and B&N. They determine the amount of competition in the Tablet market. A win for one or both of them would demonstrate how a company can survive and thrive amidst monsters like Google and Apple and Microsoft. For the sake of users and competition, let’s hope that Kindle Fire 2 and Nook Tablet 2 are absolutely stunning Tablets.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 – 3 Kindle Fire 2 Futures

Amazon has hit a new high (or low) in the Kindle Fire 2 Buzz Creation Cycle – It issued a Press Release to let everyone know Kindle Fire is out of stock.

In the last 9 days we have had 6 Kindle Fire 2 and Amazon Prime related Press Releases from Amazon -

  1. 21st – ESPN 30 for 30 Film Series Deal for Prime Instant Video.
  2. 22nd – India Kindle Store.
  3. 24th – Prime Video agreement with NBC.
  4. 27th – Prime Milestone of more items being shipped via Prime than via Free Supersaver Shipping.
  5. 30th – Amazon App Store launches in Europe. Suggesting very strongly that Kindle Fire 2 will be available in Europe at launch.
  6. 30th – Kindle Fire sold out.

Amazon’s external PR department today revealed an image of what is, supposedly, a rather unsexy looking Kindle Fire 2. It does have a front facing camera so you can take a photo of yourself and add instant sex appeal.

Update: Another source claims this is NOT the new Kindle Fire 2. Let’s hope not. It looks like Darth Vader rounded out the edges of a cereal box with a saber. Poor Darth Vader is going to get sued for billions – should have stuck with the safe old square corners.

Exciting Kindle Fire 2 Rumors – Including Dual eInk and LCD screens on OPPOSITE Sides

Here are various sites and blogs speculating about Kindle Fire 2 -

  1. The Next Web thinks Kindle Fire selling out means Kindle Fire 2 will be released on September 6th, and mentions rumors of a Kindle Phone.
  2. Reuters has an exclusive – Amazon is dropping Google Maps and going with Nokia Maps on Kindle Fire 2.
  3. PocketNow unveils an Amazon Patent for Dual Screens (filed on February 25th, 2011) – eInk Screen on one side and LCD screen on the other. So now you can show people you’re reading ‘The Cloud Atlas’ while reading ’50 Shades of Boring’.
  4. PocketLint says the new eInk Kindle, Kindle 5, will come with a Lighted Display called ‘Paperwhite’. Somebody smack the designer – he forgot to put page turn buttons on it. And what’s with all that fancy French writing. C’est tout simplement horrible – the lack of page buttons, not ze French.
  5. Apple Bloggers are all in various states of outrage – How dare someone ramp up a product launch using meaningless things like leaked product prototype images. Guess who forgot to get a patent on that marketing strategy.

Venture Beat points out Jeff Bezos’ mention of ‘an exciting roadmap ahead’ -

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wasn’t coy on what the move means. “Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem,” he said in a statement today.

Surely, that translates to ‘Kindle Fire 2, Lades & Gentlemen. Just around the Patented Rounded Corner’.

Well, let’s explore the three possible Kindle Fire 2 Futures.

Kindle Fire 2 Future 1: Kindle Fire 2 really is something SPECIAL

Has Amazon managed to make a Kindle Fire 2 that is THE BEST TABLET AVAILABLE? Perhaps with some exciting new technology that sets the world on fire. Dual Screens. Mirasol Screen Technology. Free with Subscriptions. Magic LCD Screen. Grilled Cheese Sandwich Making Add-on. 27-Core Processor that still can’t boot in 5 seconds. SD Card. Volume Buttons. A Color other than Orange dominating the UI. Folders. No Carousel.

A shiny new screen technology seems the most likely. It’ll be Revolutionary.

That, by the way, is the most over-used word ever (with regards to tech devices). Everything’s revolutionary. George Washington and Simon Bolivar are pirouetting in their graves whilst every single gadget maker throws around the word revolutionary.

While a bit unlikely, it’s not completely impossible that Amazon has come up with something quite amazing. That Kindle Fire 2 is worth the hype and that Amazon’s inane Press Releases are half-justified. That Apple really has moved out the iPad Mini release to October to figure out how to counter the new and magical grilled cheese sandwich making Kindle Fire 2.

What happens if Kindle Fire 2 is really, really good?

Well, it starts taking up market share in US and Europe. Things become tougher for companies like B&N and Microsoft. Apple’s iPad Mini becomes less of a slam dunk.

Amazon keeps adding more and more mini-Amazon stores to users’ hands and wallets. Another step towards Total Amazonian World Domination – with Jeff Bezos laughing his crazy laugh while wearing a Pirate Eye Patch and standing on a giant Ark.

Probability: 30%.

Kindle Fire 2 Future 2: Kindle Fire 2 is Good but not Great

Unfortunately, the most likely possibility is that Amazon has analyzed product launches and figured out that 50% of what makes a great product launch is the buzz. You keep everyone involved and then its human nature to think – It must be good. Surely, I’m not an idiot and only an idiot would have waited 2 months for THIS.

Amazon thinks – we have a good Kindle Fire 2. Let’s hype it up and get everyone excited. Then, when it comes out and doesn’t make breakfast, people will think it must be amazing – it not making breakfast isn’t really a big deal.

Over the years you can see a definite pattern in how Amazon is modeling companies like Apple and Nintendo in creating demand and buzz. With the Kindle Fire 2 it’s almost doing too much. A Press Release to announce Kindle Fire 1 is sold out. Kindle Fire 2 better have a booster rocket that lets you fly to the Moon on weekends.

What happens if Kindle Fire 2 is good and not very extraordinary?

Everyone is a bit disappointed. Then they satisfice and say – It’s actually quite good. Look it has volume buttons. It even has a new shiny screen made with new shiny LCD technology. And no more of that horrendous shade of Orange everywhere.

Kindle Fire 2 sells very well.

Why? Because it’s hard to turn your back on a good product if you’ve built a vision in your head of it being great. It’s much easier to take the qualities it does have and satisfice.

Amazon would actually increase its market share of the Tablet Space and it would justify all the hype. Proving that anticipation does indeed turn a good product into a great sales success.

Probability: 66%.

Kindle Fire 2 Future 3: Kindle Fire 2 is a Disaster

The downside of hyping up a product release so much is that if, and let’s hope this is not the case, Kindle Fire 2 is unimpressive – Well, then a LOT of people are going to be very upset.

This is very unlikely. Amazon isn’t crazy enough to hype up a product that isn’t good. Perhaps Amazon’s a bit nervous about iPad Mini. Perhaps it’s wondering what happened to the 1 million a week Kindle Fire sales from last holiday season.

Unless Amazon is stupid and desperate (and the first is highly unlikely) it would not hype up a mediocre product.

What happens if Kindle Fire 2 is a Disaster?

The end of Amazon’s chances in the Tablet Space. That might happen even with a good Kindle Fire 2 (iPad Mini and/or 7″ Android Tablets and/or 7″ Windows 8 Tablets might be amazing and take over). However, if Amazon releases a terrible Kindle Fire 2, then it’s guaranteed that its Tablet hopes will remain just hopes.

Probability: 4%.

Conclusion: Amazon has features that it thinks makes Kindle Fire 2 an Absolute Winner

That’s my conclusion.

I’m not convinced Kindle Fire 2 is a total winner. If we look at the eInk Kindles of the past and the Kindle Fire – Well, Amazon has NEVER shown that it can make the best hardware.

However, it seems very clear that Amazon thinks it has cracked the code and made a really special Tablet this time. All the craziness and controlled leaks suggest that Amazon thinks this is THE ONE.

Will it be?

Well, we’re talking about a company that removed page turn buttons from eInk Kindles. A company that removed volume buttons from the Kindle Fire and came up with the ‘Carousel of Endless Confusion’ and took two years to add Folders to the eInk Kindle. What Amazon thinks is the Best Tablet Ever is a bit unlikely to be what customers would consider the Best Tablet Ever.

However, Amazon seems completely convinced that it has a huge winner on its hands. It is certainly proceeding as such.

Kindle Fire 2 seems to be the Tablet that Amazon wanted to ship all along. On September 6th we’ll find out if the Kindle Fire 2 hype is justified. While for one week there will be absolutely zero Kindle Fires sold.


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