As Google touts Nexus 7, Amazon reportedly preps new Kindle Fire models

Is a Kindle Fire with a bigger screen on the horizon?

There’s been a lot of chatter (not to mention crazy PR stunts) this week around Google’s unveiling of the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet computer which by all accounts will rival Amazon.com’s Kindle Fire. But Amazon doesn’t appear to be sitting back, with BGR reporting today that the company plans to release two new tablets in the coming months, including a new 7-inch device code-named Coyote and a 10-inch device powered by a quad-core processor.

Citing a source that has handled both devices, BGR says that “build quality” has been improved in part because of a metal casing around the new devices. The 10-inch model will come with a front-facing camera, while both devices will have a micro USB port, the report says.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch says they’ve heard that the new 10-inch Fire will sell for $199, the same as the current 7-inch version, which may drop in price to $150.

Rumors have circulated for months about Amazon’s next volley in tablets, including one with a bigger screen to rival the iPad’s 9.7-inch screen. With Google preparing to start shipping the Nexus 7  in July, it will be interesting to see when the next-generation Kindle Fires arrive. (TechCrunch speculates that it will be in July as well).

And speaking of this potential rivalry, GigaOm’s Om Malik has a great piece on how Google is not only taking on Amazon in several areas, but nearly every other tech giant. Check out his piece – Google vs everyone: an epic war on many frontshere.

Previously on GeekWireWhy Amazon needs a bigger Kindle Fire, as explained by Steve Jobs

  • B.E. Ward

    Hardware is only a part of the challenge for Amazon. They need to open up the Fire and make it a full-fledged tablet. I could buy a Nexus 7, get the Kindle app, the Amazon MP3 player, etc. and, voila, I have everything the Fire is (and a lot more) for the same price.

    • Guest

      How is the Kindle Fire not “a full-fledged tablet”?

      • B.E. Ward

        I can’t use any Google-built apps and I’m limited to the content Amazon wants to offer me. Heck, even with the animosity between Google and Apple, I can still get Google apps on the Apple devices.

        They (Amazon) have been clear that the Fire is not a ‘tablet’, it’s a grown-up Kindle capable of collecting music and video content. That’s fine for getting episodes of Dora the Explorer for my daughter. Not-so-fine when I actually want to do something productive with it.

        • Guest

          What’s stopping Google and other content providers, like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, from simply submitting their apps to the Amazon Appstore? Seems like if Google want to get Google apps in the hands of the masses, they should release their apps for all devices.

          • B.E. Ward

            I’m not extraordinarily familiar with relations between the two companies, but I get the feeling it’s Amazon stopping Google and not a lack of interest on Google’s part.

          • Guest

            Why would Amazon not want Gmail or Google Maps on Kindle Fire? Amazon has no services that compete with either.

          • B.E. Ward

            That’s a good question for Amazon. They’re the ones that don’t offer Gmail, Google Maps, Google Reader, Google Drive, YouTube, or Google Books in their app store.

          • Guest

            B.E., you misunderstand. Amazon cannot simply slurp up Gmail, Google Maps, Google Reader, Google Drive, YouTube, and Google Books and offer them on their own. Google has to submit them. Absent any proof that Amazon rejected these apps, why do you think that Google has declined to make these apps available for Kindle Fire and what can be done to remedy this situation?

          • B.E. Ward

            While maybe not ‘evidence’, if you believe this article, it’s an Amazon problem:

            http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/11/kindle-fires-app-problems-google-and-apple/45203/

          • Guest

            I see. Could you not simply install an alternate Android, like this “Jelly bean” OS that recently came out, onto Kindle Fire instead? It seems like that would meet your needs.

          • B.E. Ward

            I wish it was simple! Rooting the Kindle Fire is easy for people who know what they’re doing. Not so much for us noobs.

            But I like the gist of your point.. Amazon could instantly make the Fire relevant again by offering an officially-sanctioned option to revert the device to a more stock Jelly Bean (with Amazon content apps installed).

          • Guest

            We would recommend that the Jelly Bean run Google’s apps but not its app store. Amazon already runs an app store for Android and it would not be desirable for customers to have to shop for apps redundantly on the same device.

          • B.E. Ward

            But that’s a little bit like saying it would be undesirable for Fire users to shop anywhere other than Amazon. I suppose if you’re thinking about content and sales, that would be true. If you’re thinking about offering a tablet computer and not just a marketing device, then not so much.

          • Guest

            Offering a generic tablet computer is rather like offering a personal computer: the margins are too low to justify such a pursuit. We would rather see the hardware be sold at an attractive cost to entice customers to purchase more content in the future. Offering multiple app stores would allow for customer fund leakage, something we would not consider to be favorable for the tablet vendor.

          • B.E. Ward

            I guess it’s a philosophy difference. Google seems to be saying “let’s offer the best technology and user experience, which, with creative marketing, will lead people to our content.” Amazon is saying “let’s prevent fund leakage by making it impossible for a user to shop elsewhere.”

            The problem for Amazon, circling around to my point in the beginning, is that Google created a tablet that does everything the Fire does (except stream Amazon video) and much more for the same price. If Google gets around to creating a streaming video service as a part of Play or adding a heap of new paid content to YouTube then there will be zero reason to buy a Fire, especially if the user doesn’t have a Prime subscription.

          • Guest

            These are not devices that succeed or fail based on their specs. Except for the most hardcore hardware heads, customers are not concerned with the clock speeds or RAMs of their devices. They want a good experience with lots of content. So far, Google has failed to make a dent in the music, video, and e-book spaces, and it offers no service to consume content en masse as Netflix and Amazon do. In short, Google is not concerned with fund leakage because it has failed to attract a large number of fund streams.

            The Nexus 7, as a business asset, will rise or fall based not on how many hertzes or rams it has but based on what one can truly accomplish with a Nexus 7 device in hand.

          • B.E. Ward

            I don’t think it’s about hardware. It’s about offering customers choices. Google is saying “You get most of the Amazon content and all of our content.” That’s compelling..

            As to your last point, I think you’re exactly right. And the fact that I can’t check my email on the Fire unless I use the relatively clunky web browser (or one of the mail clients Amazon deems appropriate) means I can’t really accomplish much with it.

          • Guest

            That’s true. I hope Google submits their apps to Kindle Fire so that their customers can make the most of their Google experience.

          • Guest

            We would recommend that the Jelly Bean run Google’s apps but not its app store. Amazon already runs an app store for Android and it would not be desirable for customers to have to shop for apps redundantly on the same device.

          • Guest

            Why would Amazon not want Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc. on Kindle Fire? Amazon has no services that compete with those.

    • Guest

      Amazon Video On Demand seems to be the major piece that is present only on the Fire.

  • Guest

    I love that so many biggies are committing to the tablet market. This is a huge victory for consumers and I look forward to a great value on a quality tablet. For me, I will wait for the Kindle Fire 10″. My biggest request for the new Kindle Fire is iPad-like quality graphics. Other than that, I am pretty happy with the first Kindle Fire (Love love love the Amazon Prime integration). In any case, my dollar is staying in the NW!