We’ve been hearing rumblings about a new Kindle Fire for months now, but only little hints of what such a device would look like. Now, some loose-lipped developers are saying that Amazon tipped them off to a device with a nicer screen and slightly different design. That should put some big smiles on the faces of consumers.
According to AllThingsD, Amazon has been working with developers and encouraging them to tool up their apps for a new screen and differently sized device. From their report:
[...] developers familiar with the device have been instructed to build their apps for a display with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, which is a bit different than the 1024 x 600 display of the current Kindle Fire.
Not only will that apparently make it sharper and more vibrant, it will give it a different aspect ratio, as well. In other words, the display has an entirely new width-to-height ratio.
The report also says that a thinner form and built-in camera are expected to grace the next iteration of the Kindle Fire. The device is expected sometime in the “second half” of this year, with a rumored launch window of the third financial quarter.
With sales dropping off after last holiday’s tablet boom, the time seems ripe for Amazon to unveil its next must-have handheld. Considering that the Kindle Fire is the strongest iPad competitor, comprising over 54.4% of all Android tablets, it would seem that the time to strike is now. Amazon faces new competition from Google’s Nexus 7, and hitting consumers before Google has a chance to pick up steam seems smart.
Changing the size of the screen on the forthcoming device would be an interesting move from Amazon. Generally, maintaining a consistent screen size allows for easier development — case in point, all iPhones have the same size so developers know exactly what they’re working on. AllThingsD points out that the reported resolution would mean that the new device would have a slightly smaller aspect ratio — 1.60 as opposed to the current Fire’s 1.71 — but also one more common across tablet devices. This, coupled with the reported efforts to reach out to the development community, could signal Amazon’s desire to beef up their app store and attract more and better app developers.
Of course, speculation can only take us so far. Though I’ll be far more interested in the illuminated Kindle Touch models rumored to be coming down the pike, a new Kindle Fire will really make things interesting in the tablet market.
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