iPad Mini, Kindle Fire 2 rumored

Reports say some devices could arrive very soon

The tablet market is getting hotter at the smaller size, according to multiple rumors. The arrival of Google's new Nexus 7 tablet is merely the first in a number of competitors designed with a smaller size, lower price and faster processors. Apple may finally ship the smaller iPad that Steve Jobs said wouldn't make any sense, and Amazon is looking to heat up sales of the Kindle Fire.

Slowing sales of the current Kindle and the new Google Nexus 7 tablet appear to have lit a fire under Amazon, if reports are correct. Wired reports that Amazon has already ordered 2 million units from Quanta, the manufacturer of the original Kindle, and the devices could arrive as early as this month.

Rumors from several sources indicate that Amazon may be planning several models for the Kindle Fire 2; several 7-inch versions (one without a camera, one with a camera, and one with a camera plus 4G) and an 8.9 inch Kindle Fire 2 with a 1900 x 1200 pixel display for the fourth quarter. There's no indication of the processor, but it's likely Amazon would move to a Tegra 3 or a similar faster processor than the current Kindle Fire.

Pricing is still not stated, but Amazon would certainly want to be competitive with the aggressive $199 pricing for the 8 GB Nexus 7 tablet from Google. Amazon could use a booster shot to the Kindle Fire line, as recently Samsung has taken over second place from Amazon in overall tablet sales, with Apple still far in the lead.

Apple may be poised to shake up the market with a 7.85" iPad Mini, if Bloomberg and CNET are correct. The tablet might be priced at $299, close enough to Amazon and Google's pricing that it could make a serious dent in their sales, depending on the exact specifications. Apple is said to be readying this device for the late third quarter, in time to be sold heavily over Christmas.

The advent of several lower-priced tablets with fast processor and high-resolution screens could make it a difficult Christmas indeed for handheld consoles like the 3DS and the PS Vita, or even affect the upcoming Wii U's sales.

Related stories

Nintendo Switch screen is 720p, will support multi-finger gestures - report

Eurogamer's sources point to a 6.2-inch touchscreen that offers 10-point multitouch ability

By James Brightman

Switch targets Japan's TV-less youth

One explanation for PS4's soft performance in Japan is low ownership of HDTVs among young people. Is Switch the answer?

By Rob Fahey

Latest comments (9)

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 4 years ago

Amazon = Insane! Where's the colour kindle that people actaully want!

Apple = Unless this thing has the same resolution as it's big brother then they've split their app market and left room for developers to jump ship.

Google = ? Play looks like it's ok and we need a stable android tablet to compete with IOS.

In all this I see the clear looser as Amazon. They are simply ignoring their core market of kindle users.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
If Amazon's Kindle Fire sales have dropped that badly, why didn't they release it outside of the USA? They've really missed the moment now, with the arrival of the Nexus 7.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Terence Gage Freelance writer 4 years ago
Agreed John. If only, I don't know, Amazon had some kind of massively popular multi-national shopping website where they could market and sell the Kindle from outside of North America. Maybe they could partner with eBay or Play.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (9)
Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments4 years ago
Apparently holdup with fire outside US related to content licensing, since it's intended as a portable media player.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Jean-François Boismenu Software Developer, Autodesk4 years ago
To be fair, the new Google tablet is probably going to have the same issue as the Kindle Fire outside the US. The Nexus 7 won't have access to Google Music and TV shows in Canada at the least. This might be the same elsewhere.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
I've read that the Apple tablet will have a "normal" screen and not the retina display (to keep the cost down, I'd gather), which is kind of an oddball thing to do. Especially considering all the ad money they spent on hyping the new screen as the best thing ever. Why would a diehard Apple-head want to go backwards instead of forwards with a new piece of tech?

Then again, it'll probably sell more than enough units (and outsell everything else) simply because it has an Apple logo on it, so there's that...
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
The advent of several lower-priced tablets with fast processor and high-resolution screens could make it a difficult Christmas indeed for handheld consoles like the 3DS and the PS Vita, or even affect the upcoming Wii U's sales.
Oh, and... Um, no. This sort of speculation disguised as "reporting" needs to stop. Ten out of ten actual gamers who KNOW that they can't play a first or third party Nintendo or Sony exclusive on an Apple or other tablet device would strongly disagree with you. Eleven out of ten counting me.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
@ Greg, considering that the "retina display" is just a buzz phrase, and people have been shown to be completely unable to tell the difference in side-by-side tests (including some pretty tech savvy guys), I don't really think it's a loss. The only thing they're really missing is the ability to use the marketing term... not actually any loss of quality in the display. Besides, the new iPad's power enhancements don't actually keep up with its resolution enhancements, so games don't run as well on it as they do on an iPad 2.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Adrian Herber4 years ago
@ Nicholas: I beg to differ regarding ultra-high DPI screens. Sure retina display is a marketing term, but I can immediately appreciate the improvement of my 264DPI iPad screen compared to my 96(ish)DPI monitor display. If Apple do bring out a 7" iPad mini running iPad 2 resolution, it will be higher DPI anyway.

And combined with a lower price point and differentiated form factor will be a smart successor to the iPad 2 as a competitor in the budget tablet market.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.