Amazon Exec Hints About New Kindle Fire?

The world may be only a few days away from an announcement of the next Kindle Fire, but Amazon is staying quiet about any potential upgrades to its flagship tablet.  No official announcements have been made as of yet, and although several rumors have pointed to July 31 as the date Amazon will announce the next Kindle Fire, it’s all just educated guessing at this point.

That hasn’t stopped reporters from pestering Amazon executives about the potential Kindle Fire 2. Amazon just released a strong Q2 earnings report. Sales were up 29% to $12.83 billion, even in the face of competition from Google’s popular Nexus 7 tablet.

In that earnings report, Amazon stated that the Kindle Fire continued to put up impressive sales figures.  The Kindle Fire also remains Amazon’s best-selling item. So all those rumors about the Nexus 7 crushing the Kindle Fire into oblivion were apparently untrue.

In the 2Q earnings report, Amazon’s CFO, Tom Szkutak, said that he liked the “roadmap” of the Kindle Fire as the company looks into the future. At any other time of the year, this would appear to be a normal, run-of-the-mill statement from the executive in charge of Amazon’s finances. However, with rumors about the Kindle Fire 2 continuing to swirl, some are interpreting Szkutak’s roadmap comments as a hint towards the next Kindle Fire.

Szkutak’s statement was made after a reporter commented that the first edition Kindle Fire had been on the market for a while. The CFO responded by saying:

“We’ve been very excited about the progress we’ve made so far from both the device and content standpoint and we are super-excited about the road map we have.”

It’s easy to see how these comments could be taken to mean that the Kindle Fire 2 was on the horizon. But is it definitive proof? Certainly not.

What do you think? Do these comments mean absolutely nothing? Or is Amazon’s CFO subtly hinting about the next Kindle Fire?

Kindle Fire 2 could be released as early as July

According to  CNet, the latest generation of the Kindle Fire could be released much sooner than initially expected. Based on evidence provided by a “credible source”, the Kindle Fire 2 is slated for a July 31 release date.

At this point, everything is based on rumors and speculation, and nobody is sure that Amazon’s new premium tablet will even be called the Kindle Fire 2.

However, there have been some juicy rumors floating around about some of the new and improved specs on the second generation Kindle Fire. Here are some of our favorites:

-One source said that the Kindle Fire 2 would feature a high resolution 1280×800 display resolution.

-Some have suggested the new Kindle Fire will have a number of exterior modifications, including a new camera and physical volume button controls

-Little is known about the hardware inside the Kindle Fire 2, but expect it to be an upgrade over the fixed 8GB memory limit on the original Kindle Fire. As of yet, it’s unknown what kind of processor will power the device or whether or not Bluetooth functionality will be included.

If the Kindle Fire 2 is released on July 31, expect prices for the original Kindle Fire to drop as low as $149 soon afterwards.

The original Kindle Fire was released in September of 2011. This year, it looks like the 2nd generation Kindle Fire could be released much sooner than that. You might want to hold off on buying that tablet upgrade for at least another month.

What about the next generation Kindle?

Last year, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire and a new generation Kindle at the same time. For the rumored July 31 event, a similar thing could happen. Many people expect Amazon to release a light-up version of the Kindle very soon, especially after Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight has been on the market for a couple of months now.

Amazon might also see competition from new tablets featuring Android 4.1, also known as Jelly Bean. Using that operating system, 7-inch tablets from Asus and Samsung could both challenge the Kindle Fire for dominance in the value tablet market.