Originally, the plan for the Kindle Fire‘s release was supposed to have involved two Tablet PCs. That was the story being told during the speculation period, at least, and it seemed pretty believable. Supposedly, as Amazon grew concerned about the time it was taking to get both products ready, they became afraid of missing out on the 2011 holiday season and put all resources into the 7″ Kindle Fire instead. There is yet every reason to believe that further Kindle Tablet devices are planned for the future, though.
Up until now we have been assuming that the next one to come would be the previously rumored device known by the code name “Hollywood”. This was to be the 10.1″ version of the Kindle Fire that would run a quad core processor and have an increase in both storage and memory. Many analysts have been expecting to see this device released as early as the first quarter of next year, but new information from DigiTimes seems to point to a slightly different course for the immediate future.
They have heard from sources associated with Amazon’s current 7″ display suppliers that Amazon has set things in motion for the production of 8.9″ screens. While it is always important to remain somewhat skeptical of supposed inside sources for a variety of reasons, if true this could mean that entirely new things are in the works for Amazon’s next Tablet PC.
While it would not necessarily be true that an 8.9″ display would have to be less powerful than the Kindle Hollywood rumors were indicating, there has to be a reason for such a shift. The obvious answer would be cost management. While the Kindle Fire is currently selling ridiculously well in pre-orders, it is only able to do that by virtue of its low price and comparatively high level of content. Should Amazon have jumped into the tablet market with something trying to take on Apple’s iPad on equal terms, it is likely that things would be going somewhat less well.
By using a screen that is somewhere between the iPad and the Kindle Fire, Amazon not only keeps costs down below what Apple has been able to manage, but also continues to remain distinct in customers’ minds. Yes they are both tablets, but by virtue of form alone they will fill different needs and desires just as the Kindle eReader line was able to do.
This doesn’t rule out the possibility of a 10″ Kindle somewhere down the line, but should the rumor prove true then it would be far less likely. The Kindle DX‘s lack of success should be enough to steer Amazon clear of the “bigger is better” mindset, if nothing else. In addition, while there are currently a wide number of Kindle eReaders to choose from, there is every reason to believe that Amazon will be eliminating the Kindle Keyboard as a major part of the product line within the next few months. Just as it makes little sense to try to keep providing five or more different eReader options at a time, trying to market 3-4 different sizes of tablet seems unlikely to significantly increase sales.