A recent report based on information coming from a Staples executive has had the internet abuzz with rumors about there being as many as six Kindle Fire tablets on the way any time now. Demos Parneros, president of US Retail for Staples Inc, indicated that they have six SKUs ready for the upcoming release. Naturally Amazon has declined to comment on any of these rumors, but the chances of there actually being six new tablets on the way are incredibly low.
This is not to say there will be nothing new. Chances are very good that both a 7” Kindle Fire and a larger 10” Kindle Fire will be released at the same time. We also have information from previous such stories that tells us the existing Kindle Fire will be re-released at a lower price with a slightly improved screen to help Amazon once again corner the Android tablet market. It’s reasonable to expect that will be as far as the expansion of the line goes, however.
New SKUs do not mean entirely distinct new products. If we assume that at least one of the tablets will have 4G connectivity available as an option, that option would be its own distinct SKU. The same would be true for each variation in storage space. An 8GB Kindle Fire and a 16GB Kindle Fire would be separated even if they were otherwise identical.
Six SKUs could be as simple as Amazon offering either extra storage space or optional 4G connectivity for each of the three models we are expecting. Alternatively, we may still see only 7” releases at this time and find a “Kindle Fire Original” along with Kindle Fire 2 models featuring varying combinations of storage space and such. It isn’t hard to come up with minor variations that account for the Staples information.
All of the speculation about there being completely unexpected products, such as a Kindle Phone, is jumping the gun. That sort of thing may happen, and some people consider it to be almost inevitable, but it will not be coming in the next could weeks. After all, what sense would it make for Amazon to release so many options that no particular Kindle Fire successor was able to capture public interest? This is clearly a company that knows better than to do something that reckless, however sure they may be of their position in the market right this minute.