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Google may only have a few months to capitalize on the sub-$200 tablet market as one analyst is predicting that Amazon could have up to four Kindle Fire 2 variants in the works. Richard Shim of NPD DisplaySearch claims that various sources in the supply chain indicate that Amazon could start production of the next Kindle Fire as early as August, almost certainly in time for the holiday buying season.
A base model 7-inch tablet with a 1,024 x 768 display sans camera and another model sporting a 1,280 x 800 resolution screen and a camera are both expected to enter production next month. A third 7-inch unit with the same higher resolution display and camera is said to include a 4G radio; that unit should hit production lines in September, says Shim. A fourth tablet with an 8.9-inch display operating at 1,920 x 1,200 could see life starting sometime in Q4.
The analyst also notes that all of the Kindle Fire 2 tablets will feature a pixel density of 216 pixels per inch, just like the recently announced Google Nexus 7. The original Kindle Fire has a pixel density of 170 while the third generation iPad has 264 PPI. Shim points out that anything above 200 PPI is considered competitive in today’s market.
It is unclear how much these new tablets will cost or what processors they will use, but the most likely guess would be either Texas Instruments’ OMAP processors or Nvidia’s Tegra 3.
Amazon sent a wave crashing through the mobile industry when it announced its Kindle Fire would land with a price of $199. This is likely the best value in a tablet on the market, and will make tablet computing accessible to many people that either couldn't afford an iPad or couldn't tolerate Honeycomb tablets.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
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