Tale of the Tablet
While 2011 was a big year for investment in tablets, only three brands escaped into 2012 largely unscathed. Apple's iPad, the ASUS Transformer Prime and the Kindle Fire. But, having sat still in its happy consumer market, the Kindle Fire has become rather an afterthought, perhaps not doing as well as Amazon hoped.
Sales look to have fallen off a cliff after the initial seasonal excitement. To boost interest, and sales, it looks like Amazon will be releasing a new model with an improved screen, all according to a DigiTimes piece. The new model will offer a higher-resolution and might improve in other specs and be more Android-like to make it comparable to other tablets.
A larger-screen 10" version is also suggested as a major Christmas product, which could give Kindle Fire buyers more of a range to choose from. The old Kindle Fire could come down to just $149 to tempt existing regular Kindle ebook reader users to jump into the tablet market.
Heading to the Old World?
Another story has also been doing the rounds suggesting that the Kindle Fire will launch in Europe soon. This comes after plans to launch an Amazon App Store were leaked. This would explain why future Kindle Fires would need to be more open and Android-like.
This flurry of activity should give the Kindle Fire a big boost in both profile and sales. The timing could be a little better if, as expected, Microsoft unveils a Windows RT tablet contender next week. Certainly Amazon will want to be out ahead of any Windows 8 launch window when a large number of new tablet and ultrabook devices will flood the market.
Of course, Amazon really makes its money from content sales and having those millions of Fires out there already will see the revenue rolling in, but a second phase in the Kindle Fire's life is needed to maintain its profile.