Let’s assume for a moment that the Kindle Fire proves to be a successful endeavor. I don’t just mean that it sells well, since we know that it is already doing that, I mean that users love it as much as the existing Kindle line and product loyalty can be assumed to a certain extent. Where do they go next with things at that point?
Well, there are already indications of a 10″ Kindle Tablet. Personally, I’m guessing we’ll be calling it the Kindle Air by early 2012. This is based on rumors from people in the know about what is going on at Foxconn Electronics, who Amazon is said to have tapped for the production of their next device. While it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, the fact that Foxconn is also the producer of Apple’s iPad 2 hints at a more head-on confrontation over the high end tablet market. This will likely end up being what was originally known as the Kindle ‘Hollywood’ Tablet rather than anything directly upgrading the brand new Kindle Fire
A larger Kindle Tablet was always a given in most ways, though. The majority of “leaked” information leading up to the reveal of the Kindle Fire indicated that there was always meant to be a larger, more powerful option that Amazon just ran out of time to have ready to ship in time for the 2011 holiday season. We can hope that by taking more time with it we will get a device that while still affordable brings a larger display and significantly more power.
Looking to the longer term, though, Amazon has to be hoping to bring their end to end service to all areas of the portable electronics market. After all, being based on Android should make it relatively easy to port their Kindle Fire OS to anything with a screen on it. My guess, and I’m hardly alone in this, is that there is a Kindle Phone coming up down the line.
There were predictions about a possible 4″ Kindle Tablet type of device in a Wall Street Journal article some months ago featuring supposedly leaked information about the Kindle Fire. It was interesting then and it remains that way. While it would be easy to see that resulting in something along the lines of an iPod Touch competitor, though, I don’t see how that would make the kind of impression that launching a new type of Kindle should aspire to.
More likely would be a Kindle Phone. In 2010, Lab 126 representatives stated in an interview that Amazon was interested in entering into the mobile phone arena in the past, but at the time considered it out of reach for a variety of reasons. That was before the Kindle Fire and its Android fork, though, so things have changed. At this point they have the OS, the App Store, plenty of media to serve, and even an existing relationship with a major cellular provider. A phone just seems like a logical extension of putting all of these things together.