Early in 2011, upstream suppliers of displays and components let a few of Amazon’s secrets into the open, and these early, incomplete indications were actually on whole quite correct. Now we’re seeing more of the same kind of thing predicting the coming year’s announcements from Amazon, and the predictions seem just as reasonable.
The news is what you might expect: a diversification of the Kindle Fire lineup, with a focus on display quality — and presumably thrift, considering the series’ low price.
Supplier data, reported by China Economic News Service, points to the original 1024×600, 7″ tablet still being offered for the foreseeable future — which makes sense, since it’s a popular device, low cost, and there are probably a couple million in warehouses selling at a steady rate. Next there would be an update to that form factor, improving it with a 1280×800 pixel display. That would allow them to advertise it as “HD,” since 720p content could be shown easily.
Last, there is a new size, 8.9″, with a full HD (1920×1080) display. This would have a pixel density of around 250ppi, just below the new iPad’s. The new 7″ one would be ~215ppi, and the current device (among others) sits around 170ppi.
As many have found, improving the pixel density really improves readability. I find myself saving articles on my desktop just to read on my iPad. A reading- and media-centric device like the Kindle Fire would benefit greatly from an improved display.
So, like last year, the rumors seem reasonable. We’ll surely hear more before the launch. One thing to consider: because they’re keeping the old device on the market (supposedly), they’re not under as much pressure to wait for sales to slow. So it may be that we don’t have to wait until September for the new devices.