Saturday, February 11, 2012

Larger-screened Kindle Fire, new 7-inch model due out by mid-2012: analyst

The idea that has a larger version of the Kindle Fire in the works isn't a new one, and neither is the idea that it might ship by mid-2012, but a new analyst report just affirms the earlier rumors.

Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley raised his Kindle Fire sales estimate this week, basing the revision upon an upcoming larger-screened tablet. He wrote, “We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million. But we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.”

Bartley said 9-inch, but we'll stick with 8.9-inches for the larger Kindle Fire, since other 8.9-inch tablets have already been shipped.  Moreover, though, not only are we going to see a larger screened Kindle Fire by mid-2012, if Bartley is correct, we should see a new 7-inch version as well.

Neither of those releases would be a total surprise; in 2011, it was at first believed that was going to release two versions of the Fire, but it's thought that rushed out the first Kindle Fire, additionally using a design mostly based on the BlackBerry Playbook and manufactured by Quanta.

On the less positive side of things for, Bartley reduced his Kindle e-reader unit estimates at the same time he raised his Kindle Fire estimates. The drop was from 28.6 million down to 24 million.

Bartley did not explain his estimate drop. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or market analyst) to assume that the Kindle Fire is probably cannibalizing the sales of Kindle e-readers. That said, for users of the Kindle Fire, it's clear --- whether iPad or Kindle Fire, the Kindle e-reader with e-ink technology is still a much better reading experience.

That said, if you want to avoid spending on more than one device, yet want to use an device to read an e-book, what better tablet than the Kindle Fire?

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