There are rumors that Amazon is planning an overhaul of its entire Kindle Fire line. It is rumored to be releasing a new Kindle Fire HD 2 with much higher screen resolution and lower weight.
Kindle Fire HD 2 rumors
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will feature a 1,920 by 1,200 pixel resolution. This is quite an improvement over the Kindle Fire HD’s 1,280 by 800 pixel screen.
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will remain a 7″ tablet.
- Amazon is working hard to price Kindle Fire HD 2 at the same price point as the Kindle Fire HD.
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will be lighter. This will be a big improvement since the current Kindle Fire HD is too bulky and weighs too much. Hopefully, lighter weight also means more compact size.
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will feature a new chiselled design.
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will have buttons that are no longer on the side and don’t accidentally get pressed (what a relief).
- Kindle Fire HD 2 will launch with the Kindle Fire 3 (details below) and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 2 (details below) in approximately September 2013.
If these rumors are true, and there is no other major addition, then it’s a gradual evolution of the Kindle Fire HD. I don’t see how Amazon expects to win the Tablet Wars with this.
Kindle Fire rumors
- Kindle Fire 3 (the 3rd generation of the base Kindle Fire) will feature a higher resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels (same as currently found on Kindle Fire HD).
- Kindle Fire 3 will have the same screen size (7″) but will be lighter.
- Kindle Fire 3 will launch ahead of the holiday shopping season, approximately one year after the launch of the Kindle Fire 2.
Here too, I don’t see how a gradual evolution from Kindle Fire 2 to Kindle Fire 3 will help Amazon stay competitive in the Tablet Market. Amazon will aim to keep prices the same as the current Kindle Fire 2 price. However, that price is already undercut by the Nook HD (which is on permanent fire sale, it seems). Also, Google is probably going to drop the price of the Nexus 7, after Nexus 7 2 comes out, which makes things even more competitive.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ rumors
- Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 2 will feature a 2,560 by 1,600 pixels resolution, better than the iPad Retina Display’s 2,048 by 1,536.
- Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 2 will have the same 8.9″ screen size but will be lighter.
- Amazon will try to release Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 2 at the same price as the current Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is the weakest of Amazon’s offerings and unless Amazon adds more than a screen resolution increase, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 2 might be the last Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Amazon makes.
Thoughts on the Kindle Fire HD 2 rumors
If the only improvements are –
- Higher Screen Resolution. This is definitely a big improvement, but can’t carry Kindle Fire HD 2 all by itself.
- Lighter Weight. A good improvement, but Kindle Fire HD was already behind on weight and size.
- New Chiselled Shape.
- Better Button Placement.
- Keeping the price the same (let’s be generous here).
Then it’s more of a Kindle Fire HD 1.5. It’d be typical Amazon. It would also mean a high chance that like the third-generation Nook Tablets, the third generation Kindle Fire Tablets would be the ones that get knocked out of the fight.
- Apple is going to release a Retina iPad Mini, and perhaps drop the price of the iPad Mini 1.
- Google is going to release a Nexus 7 2 that is rumored to focus on improved screen resolution. However, it comes with the Google Play App Store and 700,000+ Apps (Note: Only a small fraction of these, perhaps 30,000 to 50,000, are optimized for Tablets). That gives the Nexus tablets a much larger number of Apps than Kindle Fire HD.
- Samsung and other companies are going to release Windows 8 Tablets in 8″ and other smaller screen sizes.
- Lots of Android Tablets are going to be released.
- We always have the possibility of a company like Dell or HP or Asus figuring things out and releasing a hit Tablet.
Between Apple and Android Tablets and Windows 8 Tablets, Amazon might get crushed if it doesn’t bring something very high quality, or something very innovative and new, to the market. These Kindle Fire HD 2 rumors are not yet promising that. Hopefully these Kindle Fire HD 2 rumors are a controlled leak by Amazon and reveal only a partial picture. If not, then even Amazon’s $240 million+ marketing budget will have a hard time keeping it in the Tablet Wars.