Rumors are rife that Apple is all set to launch its next generation iPad, but the Android lovers should not lose heart as Amazon is also anticipated to release two versions of its flagship Kindle Fire, one of which will be bigger than the existing Fire, AllThingsD has reported.

AllThingsD Friday cited a report from analyst Chad Bartley of Pacific Crest who predicted that Amazon, the online retail giant, would launch a new, 7-inch version of Kindle Fire, along with a 9-inch model anytime during this year.

Bartley's prediction was based on his own checks with Amazon's component suppliers, the report said.

With the plan of launching a bigger Fire, Amazon is trying to bite Apple's iPad market share, experts believe. Apple, which is planning to release iPad 3 this year, has already done amazingly well for itself with the previous iPad models. To counter iPad, Amazon is expected to pack some amazing features at a very reasonable price.

However, once launched, the new Amazon Fire will face fierce competition from other low-cost 8/9-inch Android-run Asus, Acer, Samsung, and Toshiba tablets that were unveiled in the Consumer Electronic Show 2012 and are expected to be released anytime this year.

The Seattle-based Amazon saw a whooping increase of 177 percent in the sales during the nine-week holiday period that ended Dec. 31, 2011. Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, attributed the credit of the sales to the six million Kindle Fires and Kindle e-reader devices that were sold in the fourth quarter of last year.

We are grateful to the millions of customers who purchased the Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader devices this holiday season, making Kindle our bestselling product across both the U.S. and Europe, Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Kindle Fire, which has always been referred to as the number-one, best-selling, most gifted, and most wished-for product since its launch by Amazon, with its different (smaller, in fact) size and fresh features set a niche market for itself. The lower price also fetched million customers to Amazon's this amazing device.

Now that Amazon is planning to come up with that will help the company maintain the momentum created by the Fire tablet.