While the new iPad remains the market leader in the media tablet segment, there is one tablet that definitely steals the show -- Amazon's Kindle Fire. Rumor has it that Amazon wants a larger piece of the tablet market, and it may launch three new tablets in 2012 in an attempt to accomplish its aim.
Three Tablets On Their Way
The Android-based mid-range tablet does not offer the same features and quality as the iPad does, however, it is much more affordable and durable. it appears that Amazon is taking things a step further by launching some more tablets in the line. According to Taiwan Economic News, Amazon is looking to launch three new tablets this year, ranging from low- to high-end models in terms of price brackets and specifications.
The report says that the three models will come as a low-end 7-inch model with a resolution of 1024× 600 screen display, a medium-end 7-inch version with resolution of 1280 × 800 screen and an 8.9-inch version with resolution of 1920 × 1200 pixels display.
There are no further details, but it is likely that Amazon will either bump up the quality of the display or perhaps some of the hardware, such as the processor and storage.
Further the report also mentioned that Amazon is opting to use Taiwanese factories for production to reduce costs. Amazon has reportedly signed agreements with Taiwan-based assemblers Quanta and Hon Hai. Quanta will be responsible for the assembly of the mid-range (1280 x 800) 7-inch model and Hon Hai will assemble the lower-end (1024 x 600) 7-inch model. Prime View and Chimei Innolux will provide the flat-panel displays while the latter will also provide 7-inch touch sensors.
Kindle's Market Share
Going back to last year, the original Kindle Fire hit the retail channel on Nov. 15, 2011. It was assembled by Quanta and was based on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet's core design. Amazon reportedly went with the stock design, in order to raid the market with its own tablet before the 2011 holiday season. The gamble worked with sales of over 4.7 million units by the end of the fourth quarter of 2011 and a 16.8 percent tablet marketshare.
Amazon certainly caused a few ripples in the tablet pool with its $199 Android-based gadget. And now, with the rumored report of the three models coming in to cover all ranges of consumer wants, one wonders what the company could increase that percentage to. While they may not be as cool to own as Apple in a lot of people's minds, the original Kindle Fire obviously met the needs of some consumers, so three options, in theory, should triple their chances.
Coming to the competition, Google is reportedly working on its own answer to the Kindle Fire, dubbed the Google Nexus tablet sporting a 7-inch screen and a possible $199 price tag. Further, Apple is also reportedly cranking out its own Kindle Fire competitor although it may find Amazon's 8.9-inch version more of a challenge later this year.
According to new sources talking to The Verge and Android and Me, a brand new Google-launched Nexus tablet is coming into the market within months for either $149 or $199. Android and Me reports claim that the price could be as low as $149.
Google plans to market the Nexus tablet as a Kindle Fire competitor rather than a premium tablet like Apple's new iPad. Some sources even suggest that ASUS plans to ditch the release of their previously planned $249 MeMo 370T.
Not to be outdone,The Wall Street Journal reported earlier last month that Apple is rumored to be already working on a Kindle-sized tablet with a screen measuring between seven and eight inches. Computer World reports that the so-called iPad Mini could be priced as low as $299. Analysts who spoke to Computer World were quoted as saying that the smaller tablet would crush the opposition.
With three Kindle Fire tablets on the cards, the big giants in the tablet market may have a tough challenge in 2012. At the same time, consumers may have a hard time choosing from the tablet storm thats likely to hit later this year. So does Apple actually have something to worry about now as far as its dominance in the tablet market is concerned?