Amazon announced today that it has sold the complete stock of its Kindle Fire tablet. This is an obvious hint that a new version is coming soon — probably next week.
This 7-inch consumer-oriented tablet launched last November, and has done well. Amazon claims it has a 22% share of the U.S. tablet market, though the company has never revealed the total number of units it has sold. Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO, said today “We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon.”
Amazon didn’t reveal the number of units sold, but an analyst has cruched the numbers and says that the online retail giant sold 5 million Kindle Fires in the past 9 months. That figure comes from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, and is based on Amazon’s claim that it was responsible for 22% of all U.S. tablet sales.
Bezos also said, “We have an exciting roadmap ahead” without revealing any additional details on what’s on that roadmap. That will likely have to wait until a week from today, when the company has scheduled a press conference.
At this event, Amazon is expected to unveil an updated 7-inch Kindle Fire 2 and a substantially larger 10-inch tablet that it has been working on for over a year.
Bigger and Better
The original Kindle Fire is an inexpensively-made device that runs a very heavily modified version of Android 2.3. The recently-released Google Nexus 7 sells for about the same price but offers significantly more advanced features. Clearly, Amazon’s next-generation tablet is going to have to be more than a tweaked version of its predecessor to remain competitive.
Among the improvements supposedly headed for the Fire 2 are a higher-resolution display (1280 x 800 up from 1024 x 600) the inclusion of a camera for the first time, and possibly the addition of a video-out port.