There have been a lots of theories, rumors, and “leaked” information floating around for the past couple months about what we all assume will be the new Kindle Tablet (or Tablets) later this year. Lately, even the Wall Street Journal has printed a few bits of information coming from a “reliable source”. It all adds up to a potentially impressive picture that a lot of us are looking forward to. I thought, as a result, that it might be useful to go over what we think we know so far.
- Reports from various sources say that at least one Kindle Tablet, almost certainly the first of a series, will be released before the end of the year. Possibly as early as October.
- The Kindle Tablet will not compete with the Kindle, or result in its being discontinued.
- The new Tablet PC will be running some variation of Google’s Android 3.0 or later, with seamless integration into Amazon’s Android App Store.
- The focus will be on media consumption, with streaming video being strongly emphasized
- The first Kindle Tablet will likely have a 9″ screen.
- Prices on any and all Tablet PC offerings from Amazon are expected to undercut iPad 2 prices.
- The initial stock order is sufficiently large that selling out should not be a problem.
- There will be no camera.
- An improved mobile shopping experience will be a major issue for Amazon’s new device.
- Some sources have claimed that two Kindle Tablet models will be available at launch, codenamed ‘Coyote’ and ‘Hollywood’. The former would be a low powered, but affordable option with either a 7″ or 9″ screen. The latter would feature more impressive hardware and a 10+” screen.
- In order to fill as many niches as possible, Amazon plans to offer pocket-sized devices similar to the iPod Touch eventually, and maybe even a Kindle Phone.
- The Kindle Tablet could be priced at or below cost in order to bolster sales, with any deficiencies made up through advertising space on the Tablets themselves.
- Amazon may have some deals in the works with AT&T to provide 3G connections to the Tablets.
- It is hoped that the displays for the Kindle Tablet line will take advantage of newer, more power conserving technology, based on Amazon’s criticisms of LCD shortcomings in previous ad campaigns.
A fair amount to go on so far, especially since Amazon has declined to even officially confirm the existence of the new device. The only things we can be completely sure of are that Amazon has a Tablet PC in the works, they are anticipating strong sales based on manufacturer information, and it is unlikely that the Nook Color is the intended competition. Amazon seems to have their sights set a little higher than Barnes & Noble’s almost unintentionally impressive budget Tablet.
Given that some rumors place the announcement and release as early as August, and that almost all of the more well sourced ones mention 3rd quarter 2011, it is certain that we’ll know more definite details soon. In the meantime, it might be a good time to hold off on impulsively buying the next cool looking Tablet on the market. Amazon has done a pretty good job of proving they know what they’re doing via the Kindle. It should be worth the wait to see how they hold up on their next big hardware push.