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Amazon reportedly planning switch to 8.9" display for next-gen Kindle Fire

post #1 of 59
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Amazon is rumored to be changing its product roadmap for its 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet, with plans to make the second-generation model with an 8.9-inch display.

According to a brief report from DigiTimes, Amazon had originally planned to release a 10.1-inch Kindle Fire next year, but will instead go with the 8.9-inch form factor.

"Amazon's current 7-inch panel suppliers Chunghwa Picture Tubes and LG Display reportedly have begun to prepare production capacities for 8.9-inch displays, added the sources," said the report.

Insiders also hinted that Amazon could follow up the 8.9-inch Fire with "9.7- to 10.1-inch models" later that year.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire was unveiled in September, though it will not hit the market until Nov. 15. Amazon is building "millions more" of the $199 device than originally planned, but the tablet's low margins will take a toll on the company's profitability. It warned during an earnings call last month that fourth quarter earnings could fall as low as a $200 million loss.

The online retailer reportedly tapped Quanta to produce the Kindle Fire because its usual manufacturing partner, Foxconn, was kept busy with Apple's iPad 2 orders.



For its part, Apple has said it is not worried about the Kindle Fire. Apple's top brass reportedly told an analyst recently that the device would only serve to further fragment the tablet market.

Sales of the iPad have continued to surge, with the company selling 11.12 million units in the most recent quarter.

AppleInsider reported in September that Amazon views the Kindle Fire as a device to "test the waters" for next year's tablet lineup. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities said the company is working on an 8.9-inch tablet with an "amazing form factor," as well as a 10.1-inch tablet, code-named "Coyote."
post #2 of 59
For the sake of competition, I'm glad Amazon is finding success with the Kindle but it makes no sense to produce an 8.9" and a 10.1" tablet. Just choose one, stick with it & improve it over time.

If were them I'd choose the 10.1". Apple's proven that sweet spot for tablets in terms of delivering mobility and a decent user experience is between around 9.7".
post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

For the sake of competition, I'm glad Amazon is finding success with the Kindle but it makes no sense to produce an 8.9" and a 10.1" tablet. Just choose one, stick with it & improve it over time.

If were them I'd choose the 10.1". Apple's proven that sweet spot for tablets in terms of delivering mobility and a decent user experience is between around 9.7".

Too early to call the Fire a success since Amazon loses money on each one sold, for now at least.

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post #4 of 59
So before the first one hits the shelves they are already outdating it. Or at least confusing you with too many options of "things to come". Yeah the Apple people can rest easy, this will be an upgrade for kindle only users(there are a lot of them though) but I don't think it will draw people hunting for real tablets.
post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

So before the first one hits the shelves they are already outdating it. Or at least confusing you with too many options of "things to come". Yeah the Apple people can rest easy, this will be an upgrade for kindle only users(there are a lot of them though) but I don't think it will draw people hunting for real tablets.

Hard to tell. I see an awful lot of iPads on the commuter ferry each day. If you have millions of commuters around the world currently buying iPads, I could see a Kindle that could play Angry Birds or crossword puzzles catching on. Of course, it would have to have better internet capabilities to own the market, but it could make some serious headway.
post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

For its part, Apple has said it is not worried about the Kindle Fire. Apple's top brass reportedly told an analyst recently that the device would only serve to further fragment the Google Android platform.


Wrong! Apple did not say Amazon's Kindle Fire would fragment the Google Android platform.

They said it "...could fuel further fragmentation in the tablet market..."

No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

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No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

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post #7 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

For the sake of competition, I'm glad Amazon is finding success with the Kindle but it makes no sense to produce an 8.9" and a 10.1" tablet. Just choose one, stick with it & improve it over time.

If were them I'd choose the 10.1". Apple's proven that sweet spot for tablets in terms of delivering mobility and a decent user experience is between around 9.7".

Amazon is probably forced to make a 7" tablet because of cost and parts availability considerations. It is clear that non-iPad tablets are not able to hold their own at iPad price points. In order for iPad competitors to find a foothold, it appears that they need to hit a certain price point well below that of a comparably equipped iPad. The easiest ways to do this are to reduce the cost (the display panel is the most expensive part of a media tablet) and to squeeze profit margins.

A 10.1" panel would not be any cheaper than the iPad's 9.7" panel, especially since Apple is getting better pricing by purchasing tens of millions of units per quarter. Remember that the Motorola Xoom only sold about 100,000 units the last quarter whereas Apple sold 11+ million iPads during the same timeframe.

Despite the fact that the 7" form factor has been a failure in for media tablets, Amazon is probably gambling on the hope that consumers won't see the Kindle Fire as a competitor to the iPad, but more of a "color Kindle with benefits," a blinged-out e-book reader.
post #8 of 59
Apple is selling 5,000+ iPads an hour, 24 hours per day. It will be difficult to match that.

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post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

So before the first one hits the shelves they are already outdating it. Or at least confusing you with too many options of "things to come". Yeah the Apple people can rest easy, this will be an upgrade for kindle only users(there are a lot of them though) but I don't think it will draw people hunting for real tablets.



Will Apple drop their 15" MBP because they also sell a 17" version? No. They both have their own market.

No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

Reply

No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

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post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Too early to call the Fire a success since Amazon loses money on each one sold, for now at least.

I should've made myself more clear. When I meant success, I meant in terms of units sold, not profitability.
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Too early to call the Fire a success since Amazon loses money on each one sold, for now at least.

I should've made myself more clear. When I meant success, I meant in terms of units sold, not profitability.


Fire's success isn't measured by how much money Amazon makes on each one sold, nor the number sold, it's measured by how much money it brings in after it's sold.

No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

Reply

No matter what type of media...movies, music, books, photos and web pages

look better and sound better on the Kindle Fire HD and HDX than any iPad

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post #12 of 59
I wonder is Amazon is trying to get a feel for which size and type will sell the most. Then they will go with that one. We will have to see.

For the most part I see this as good competition. We need this in the market. It creates better products in the long run.
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post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post

Will Apple drop their 15" MBP because they also sell a 17" version? No. They both have their own market.

Tablet market and laptop market are two entirely different things. Also I did not say drop I said outdate two different things.

That being said. I hope the Fire sells well. It looks to be an excellent addition to the e-reader market with a few nice extras. i just don't see it as a real competitor in the full tablet market.
post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post

I wonder is Amazon is trying to get a feel for which size and type will sell the most. Then they will go with that one. We will have to see.

For the most part I see this as good competition. We need this in the market. It creates better products in the long run.

More like... They just realize that the world's not 'one size fits all' and want to offer the Fire in a choice of sizes.

Not unlike Apple does with the iMac and MacBook-series, or Amazon already does with the current Kindle-series.
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post #15 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tru_canuk View Post

For the sake of competition, I'm glad Amazon is finding success with the Kindle but it makes no sense to produce an 8.9" and a 10.1" tablet. Just choose one, stick with it & improve it over time.

If were them I'd choose the 10.1". Apple's proven that sweet spot for tablets in terms of delivering mobility and a decent user experience is between around 9.7".

Apple has proven no such thing.

Success based on a 9.7" screen is correlation not causation, i.e., Apple have shown that they can successfully sell the iPad which has a 9.7" screen, that doesn't mean the iPad is successful because it has a 9.7" screen.

The Xoom and Galaxy Tab sales are a case in point. You think Samsung and Motorola would would have suddenly sold millions of tablets if they had built them with 9.7" screens instead of 10.1"?

I would argue that a price point which gives a good sense of "value" is actually more important.

The HP TouchPad is a good example of this. At $500 it was perceived to be a "bad value" purchase and didn't sell well. At $99 the same tablet was seen as very "good value", and was stripped from the shelves in a day.
post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

I would argue that a price point which gives a good sense of "value" is actually more important.

The HP TouchPad is a good example of this. At $500 it was perceived to be a "bad value" purchase and didn't sell well. At $99 the same tablet was seen as very "good value", and was stripped from the shelves in a day.

and then discontinued, because that was less than half what HP paid to make them

Great value for consumers, maybe. Terrible value for the manufacturer.
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post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

More like... They just realize that the world's not 'one size fits all' and want to offer the Fire in a choice of sizes.

Not unlike Apple does with the iMac and MacBook-series, or Amazon already does with the current Kindle-series.

True.
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post #18 of 59
Well, we'll never know if Kindle Fire ever outsells the iPad cuz Amazon ain't talkin'.

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post #19 of 59
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Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

That being said. I hope the Fire sells well. It looks to be an excellent addition to the e-reader market with a few nice extras. I just don't see it as a real competitor in the full tablet market.

I think this is an interesting enough concept to warrant exploration.

What feature-set do you believe justifies classification as a "full tablet".

Do we start drawing the lines between "content creation" and "content consumption" again?

There are a number of basic "content consumption" tasks that both the iPad and the Kindle Fire will perform well. For example reading email, news or a book, checking Facebook, watching a TV show or movie or playing a game.

Then there are more complex "content creation" tasks like researching a paper, writing a report, designing a presentation or creating a spreadsheet. These are things that an iPad can do, but only poorly. A Kindle Fire will perform them even worse.

Then there are more advanced "content consumption" tasks such as phone to tablet gaming, connecting a remote desktop to a PC, or AirPlay gaming that the iPad can do very well but the Kindle Fire cannot.

It would seem to me that handling the basic "content consumption" tasks would justify classification as a "basic tablet".

Classification as a "full tablet" appears to be far more difficult.

Focusing on the ability to perform advanced "content consumption" tasks, however poorly, seems like an odd thing to do. This area will become increasingly messy as more tablets are released that are designed specifically toward advanced "content consumption" tasks. For example, it will be hard to classify an iPad and an x86 Windows 8 tablet as the same thing.

However this leaves us with the features that exist on the iPad that don't exist on the Kindle Fire as being the definition of a "full tablet", which seems kind of arbitrary.

Thoughts?
post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Apple has proven no such thing.

Success based on a 9.7" screen is correlation not causation, i.e., Apple have shown that they can successfully sell the iPad which has a 9.7" screen, that doesn't mean the iPad is successful because it has a 9.7" screen.

The Xoom and Galaxy Tab sales are a case in point. You think Samsung and Motorola would would have suddenly sold millions of tablets if they had built them with 9.7" screens instead of 10.1"?

I would argue that a price point which gives a good sense of "value" is actually more important.

The HP TouchPad is a good example of this. At $500 it was perceived to be a "bad value" purchase and didn't sell well. At $99 the same tablet was seen as very "good value", and was stripped from the shelves in a day.

I agree that it's not yet proven but given apples success it's at least a good indicator and one which other tablet manufactures are paying attention to closely I'd guess. It may be that motorola and samsung were close enough in size but were lacking in other areas.

The hp touchpad isn't a good example of anything except the fact that people like things that are nearly free.
post #21 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of Concord Securities said the company is working on an 8.9-inch tablet with an "amazing form factor," as well as a 10.1-inch tablet, code-named "Coyote."

bow, wow
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

and then discontinued, because that was less than half what HP paid to make them

Great value for consumers, maybe. Terrible value for the manufacturer.

Completely irrelevant to the point I was making, but very true none-the-less.
post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell View Post


Fire's success isn't measured by how much money Amazon makes on each one sold, nor the number sold, it's measured by how much money it brings in after it's sold.

Exactly... and Amazon has a completely different business model than Apple.

Apple makes gobs of money on the initial hardware sale... plus they get additional income from apps, music, videos, etc.

It appears that Amazon will be losing money on the initial hardware sale... and must rely on income from apps, music, videos, etc.

Yikes!

Do you know how many apps and media a person must buy from Amazon to make up that difference?

Apple has always said the only reason they operate the iTunes Store is to sell hardware. Although the iTunes Store makes some money... it pales in comparison to their hardware sales.

I wonder if Amazon has really examined this? At least they'll get $80/year from Prime... it might balance out in the end.
post #24 of 59
I'm not buying this multi-sized tablet fiasco separated by 2" differences. I can see 2 different tablet sizes of about 7" and 10", but not investing in keeping 3 or more Ui paradigms in service at once. Mobile OSes aren't windowed so having various display sizes simply doesn't work like it does with desktop OSes.
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post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Mobile OSes aren't windowed so having various display sizes simply doesn't work like it does with desktop OSes.

Exacutally!
post #26 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

I agree that it's not yet proven but given apples success it's at least a good indicator and one which other tablet manufactures are paying attention to closely I'd guess. It may be that motorola and samsung were close enough in size but were lacking in other areas.

The hp touchpad isn't a good example of anything except the fact that people like things that are nearly free.

On the contrary. It's a bloody good example of "perceived value".

The fact that you would refer to a $99 buggy, slow tablet with hardly any apps, no ecosystem and no future to speak as "nearly free" is a shining example of my point.
post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

On the contrary. It's a bloody good example of "perceived value".

The fact that you would refer to a $99 buggy, slow tablet with hardly any apps, no ecosystem and no future to speak as "nearly free" is a shining example of my point.

I'm not alone in thinking that a tablet that allows you to surf the web, check email, watch movies and play music for $99 is very good value.
post #28 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

On the contrary. It's a bloody good example of "perceived value".

The fact that you would refer to a $99 buggy, slow tablet with hardly any apps, no ecosystem and no future to speak as "nearly free" is a shining example of my point.

I would argue that a price point which gives a good sense of "value" is actually more important. -firefly7475

More important in what way. I don't think a fire sale of a couple hundred thousand units(I think) is more important in any way than selling over 10 million units in a quarter within a sustainable business model. The perceived value is obvious - they were practically giving them away.
post #29 of 59
I'm confused. Is this an iPad killer or not? If not, why should I care? Is it doing better than the Galaxy Tab?
post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazweeja View Post

I'm not alone in thinking that a tablet that allows you to surf the web, check email, watch movies and play music for $99 is very good value.

It would be fantastic value. Unfortunately the current purchasing power of $99 USD means your margins would be extremely thin to do all that stuff in an enjoyable way. But hey, I'm not Steve Jobs or Tim Cook, so, maybe it is possible.

But gut feeling is that you'd have to do massive volume to deliver anything above 8" that's worthwhile to use.
post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Mobile OSes aren't windowed so having various display sizes simply doesn't work like it does with desktop OSes.

There is your solution. Apple should bring windowing to iOS, enabled on +7" iOS devices. Samesung has a 7.0, 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1 tablets, if Apple doesn't expand their iPad offerings they are set to lose.

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post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not buying this multi-sized tablet fiasco separated by 2" differences. I can see 2 different tablet sizes of about 7" and 10", but not investing in keeping 3 or more Ui paradigms in service at once. Mobile OSes aren't windowed so having various display sizes simply doesn't work like it does with desktop OSes.

Agreed somewhat - but to note they are touch-driven and used with people who hold them in their hands, making the size of the screen with respect to the individual using it much more relevant than with computer screens. It does not require more UI paradigms or changes to programs, just different screen sizes with the same resolution for different people:

- People have different size fingers (consider a child, or a small woman vs., say, a male construction worker)

- People have different arm lengths, so the distance of the tablet is different

- People have different eyesight/motoristic capabilities, special requirements

Saying one size fits all is like saying a single shoe-size would fit all. To have the same experience, i.e. to have the elements on the screen same relative size to your fingers etc., depending on the above personal factors and perhaps more, different size people would need different sized tablets. The iPad experinece is hugely different for a child than it is to a basket ball player. Commercial decisions are one thing, but clearly the humane need to have the option to tailor the size of whatever tools - including tablets - you use to your physique is there. Commercially, of course, there needs to be compromises. I fall to the camp who thinks there is too much compromise in the iOS lineup sizewise, two size-options for both the iPhone and iPad would be a great start. Maybe even more.

Btw, I'd welcome windowing or something. Who says mobile OSes couldn't be windowed successfully. Someone just needs to figure out how, it is quite natural to multitask in real life with different things open at the same time in front of you (say referencing two books at a time).
post #33 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

So before the first one hits the shelves they are already outdating it. Or at least confusing you with too many options of "things to come".

Hardly. This is a rumor. Not like Amazon stated that they were doing it. And which tech company isn't consistently working on its products' successors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

Yeah the Apple people can rest easy, this will be an upgrade for kindle only users(there are a lot of them though) but I don't think it will draw people hunting for real tablets.

In what way is the Fire not a "real" tablet?
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post

Apple has proven no such thing.

Success based on a 9.7" screen is correlation not causation, i.e., Apple have shown that they can successfully sell the iPad which has a 9.7" screen, that doesn't mean the iPad is successful because it has a 9.7" screen. ...

Mentioning correlation and causation also doesn't prove the the iPad isn't successful "because it has a 9.7" screen".

Success speaks for itself. Apple obviously put a lot of effort into finding the sweet spot, the optimum size, for a tablet (and smartphone) and that research has paid off. Competitors with tiny tablets haven't done any research, they've simply scrambled to put something on the market that they can call a tablet and that's price competitive with the iPad, and while you can argue that they've failed because Android sucks as a tablet OS, it's hard to ignore the fact that they have relatively tiny screens.

No, the screen size isn't the only reason the iPad is successful, but the screen size is a significant part of that equation. The Fire may have some success as a "reader" device, but it's not going to shake up the tablet market, which is really the iPad market, as a whole. An 8.9" tablet is probably more useful than a 7", but I don't think Amazon's decisions here have anything to do with that; they're simply trying, like all the other (besides Apple) "tablet" manufacturers, to hit a price point and that's what's driving their design decisions.

I really don't understand the reasoning of people who argue that all screen sizes are equally valid in smartphones and tablets. This sort of logic, heralded by the "one size doesn't fit all" mantra, simply ignores the fact that there is almost always an optimum, a balance point, where a general purpose tool is best suited to its purpose.
post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerbera View Post

... Saying one size fits all is like saying a single shoe-size would fit all. To have the same experience, i.e. to have the elements on the screen same relative size to your fingers etc., depending on the above personal factors and perhaps more, different size people would need different sized tablets. The iPad experinece is hugely different for a child than it is to a basket ball player. Commercial decisions are one thing, but clearly the humane need to have the option to tailor the size of whatever tools - including tablets - you use to your physique is there. Commercially, of course, there needs to be compromises. I fall to the camp who thinks there is too much compromise in the iOS lineup sizewise, two size-options for both the iPhone and iPad would be a great start. Maybe even more. ...

Following your logic to it's natural conclusion, the correct strategy for tablet manufacturers is to produce an infinite variety of tablet sizes, to match the practically infinite variation in humans. Clearly, that's absurd, as is the reasoning that leads to it.
post #36 of 59
LOL. even more fragmentation. The more the better! This would mean even more iPads will be sold. What a mess for the fandroids.
post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

There is your solution. Apple should bring windowing to iOS, enabled on +7" iOS devices. Samesung has a 7.0, 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1 tablets, if Apple doesn't expand their iPad offerings they are set to lose.

I'll assume you're being sarcastic and have a nice giggle here.
post #38 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rtapps View Post

So before the first one hits the shelves they are already outdating it. Or at least confusing you with too many options of "things to come". Yeah the Apple people can rest easy, this will be an upgrade for kindle only users(there are a lot of them though) but I don't think it will draw people hunting for real tablets.

Did you read the article? This is merely rumour and speculation - Amazon hasn't announced anything or "confused" anyone. They have one tablet.
post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



Insiders also hinted that Amazon could follow up the 8.9-inch Fire with "9.7- to 10.1-inch models" later that year.



This is great news! I hope it is true!

Diversity of choice is always a good thing for us consumers!


post #40 of 59
According to the Amazon Developer page for the Kindle Fire, "Your app cannot require a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD to function. In addition, your app must not be a theme or wallpaper that manipulates the user interface of the device."

So a WiFi only 7" form factor with no microphone, camera, GPS, gyro, and my mouth is suppose to be watering to get my hands on this 'bargain'?
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