Naturally, there is a new Kindle Fire on the way. We are also expecting there to be a new E Ink Kindle eReader released alongside it. The Kindle Fire 2, or whatever Amazon decides to label their new device, has aroused a lot of interest over the past few weeks and the release of a Kindle that matches or exceeds the capabilities of the Nook Simple Touch w/ GlowLight will be a big thing for the company. Now, citing reliable sources rather than simply the less than reliable DigiTimes reports, CNET has come up with a July 31st launch event to introduce both of these products to potential customers.
Rumors have indicated that the Kindle Fire 2 will be improved in a number of ways. It will have a higher resolution 1280 x 800 screen while maintaining the same 7” size, according to most of the rumors today. This latest report indicates that it will also have a camera and physical volume control buttons. Both of these features will be welcome additions for many Kindle Fire users. One can only assume that with the addition of a camera Amazon will also have seen fit to include a mic to make their tablet into a viable communication tool.
The new Kindle eReader will also have minor improvements across the board. The most important of these will obviously be the ability to light up the screen. We saw several months ago that Amazon had bought a patent that would allow them to add a refraction layer for front-lighting their eReaders, but Barnes & Noble beat them to the punch. Given how well B&N has done in making a great lit eReader, we have to hope that Amazon has used the intervening time to improve more than just the lighting. Expect to at least see physical page turn buttons return to the Kindle Touch version of the next generation.
Amazon is expected to be selling these new devices for the same price as current models. The new Kindle Fire 2 will be going for $199 while the basic model of the new Kindle eReader will be just $79. While it is too early to say for sure, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out that Amazon was including lighting in all their eReaders at no extra charge, thereby undercutting Barnes & Noble’s prices yet again. The Kindle Fire that we know today will continue to be available in its present form for the indefinite future, but it is believed that the price will drop to just $149 as the new version hits shelves.
None of this tells us anything about a new larger Kindle Fire model. While reports still indicate that such a tablet is on the way, the rumor mills are surprisingly quiet about the details. Presumably it will be more powerful and have features comparable to other large tablets, but things like price and release date are completely unknown and barely speculated on. We’ll try to bring you more on this when the information becomes available.