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Is Amazon Working on a 10″ Kindle Fire HD? Unlikely

May 4th, 2013 by · 2 Comments · DeBunking

kindle-fire-big-small-e-small[1]Cnet invented the most delicious rumor on Friday. According to an analyst who is inclined to make unsubstantiated claims, Amazon’s next tablet will have a 10 inch screen:

Now it’s moving up to the 10-inch class, Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch, told CNET.

The biggest Kindle Fire yet will sport a stunning 2,560×1,600-pixel density 10.1-inch display, according to Shim. That’s about 300 pixels per inch (PPI), considerably denser than Apple’s Retina iPad 4 with 264 PPI.

Mass production of the display for the 10-inch Kindle Fire will start in the third quarter, Shim said.

The Cnet article doesn’t put forward any evidence nor does it explain the source of the rumor, and the lack of detail tends to make me think this is little more than gossip.

But just to satisfy my own curiosity, I took a few moments to consider whether it could be true. Gut instinct tells me that it probably isn’t true, but that’s not good enough. I want some smidgen of data to base that on, and luckily I didn’t have to look far.

Consider for a moment how much luck Amazon has been having with their larger tablet. In the space of a month Amazon dropped the price of the KFHD 8.9 and then announced a distribution deal with AT&T.

These announcements probably came as a result of the 8.9″ tablet not selling fast enough to Amazon. I don’t know about you, but I would describe that as not having a lot of luck That tends to make me doubt the Cnet rumor.

It’s my guess that customers simply weren’t interested in a limited function 9″ media tablet at such a high price point. The buying public found Amazon’s current large screen tablet so unappealing that Amazon knocked $100 off the the price.

Would they really be planning to release an even larger model? I don’t think so, but then again I have been wrong in the past. What do you think?

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas

    It doesn’t sound like a good idea to me either, but then again I use a 5 year old Acer netbook as my 10 inch device. It’s nearly as portable and more capable than an Android or iOS tablet. Sales figures seem to indicate most folks don’t feel the same way as I do.

  • R. Scot Johns

    One thing you’re not considering is the aspect ratio. So far Amazon’s Fire line have used a widescreen aspect ratio, which is fine for video playback, but completely sucks for books with two-page layouts, like comics and graphic novels, which they’re making a heavy pushing into, for example with the Kindle Comic Creator.

    10:6 (Fire 1) or 16:10 (Fire 2 & HD models) are just too narrow to allow for a good 2-page spread in landscape, so I’ve been harping on Amazon to move to a 4:3 display like the iPad so that books will take up more of the screen in landscape, while the usable area for video will be unaffected, since it will only add a letterbox to the top and bottom.

    A 10.1″ display for a Kindle would accomplish this, and return the Kindle to what it was intended for: reading books. It’s also not much bigger than the HD8.9, which is already the same length as the iPad, just 1″ narrower. A 4:3 display would also make the Kindle a more serious multimedia/gaming device, since the only thing widescreen is applicable to is movies.

    By the way, I absolutely love my HD Kindles – and I have both of them. I use the 8.9 almost exclusively for reading comics and graphic novels, since I don’t play games at all, or watch video on portable devices, which I’ve never understood at all (I have a 50″ THX home theater system – why would I bother watching movies on a Kindle?).

    I wouldn’t discount this rumor altogether, particularly since you’re doing so on supposition. I’m not convinced that Amazon lowering the prices of their devices is due to lack of sales, as it could just as easily be renegotiation for labor costs or lower prices on parts. Amazon’s entire strategy is to offer their devices at the lowest possible price point, both for the sake of competition and to get their storefront into people’s hands. They have always lowered the price of their devices after release, and continue to do so. And so far their strategy has worked

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