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 vs Nexus 7: Who Will Win?

kindle fire 2 vs nexus 7The Kindle Fire made a splash in the tablet market when it was first released. It was the first legitimate contender in the sub-$200 range, opening up tablet computing for consumers with tighter budgets. However, Google clearly saw an opportunity in that market as well, which is why they recently released the Nexus 7.

The Kindle Fire 2 is expected to be announced later this month, or at the beginning of August. In that announcement, Amazon will likely have one target in mind: the Nexus 7.

InformationWeek.com published a list of features that the Kindle Fire 2 could use to top the Nexus 7. Here are a few highlights from that article:

Higher resolution display: The Kindle Fire had an admirable 1024×600 resolution. However, the Nexus 7 features a stunning 1280×800 resolution, and the Kindle Fire 2 is going to have to match (or better, exceed) that if it wants to have a chance of competing with the Nexus 7.

Camera: This one’s obvious. The Nexus 7 has a front-facing camera, the Kindle Fire does not. Amazon needs to include a decently-powered front facing camera on their next device if they want it to succeed.

More storage space: The Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 have one thing in common: 8GB of internal storage space. Would it really be that difficult to bump that space up to 16GB in the Kindle Fire 2? If Amazon could do that, the company could increase sales at its online store while protecting their market from Google.

Fast performance: Even lower end tablets now feature powerful dual-core processors. However, the Nexus 7 blew those lower end tablets out of the water with its quad-core processing power through the Nvidia Tegra 3. Let’s hope the Kindle Fire 2 has a quad-core processor as well.

Better graphics and gaming: The Nexus 7 features powerful game-playing capabilities. While Amazon’s store has plenty of games, the gaming capabilities of the Kindle Fire lag behind that of the Nexus 7.

The article also mentions that the Kindle Fire 2 can beat the Nexus 7 with prettier features, a 3G/4G upgrade plan, and a lighter weight. Read the full article here.

Until the Kindle Fire 2 is released later this year (hopefully), we won’t know how it stacks up against the Nexus 7. However, if the Fire 2 is going to be announced later this month, we should get a better idea of just how competitive the sub-$200 tablet market could become.

Keep Your Fire Safe With KlearKase

klearkase kindle fireIn the past, we have reviewed some cool KlearKase cases and covers in our waterproof Kindle cover post, which you can find here. Now, the company has taken their Kindle protection to the next level with a Kindle Fire case as well!

I am a fan of the Klearkase products because they are hardcore. Seriously. They are literally constructed out of some of the same stuff they use in F-22 planes, meaning they should definitely be able to handle you dropping your Fire on the kitchen counter!

The other thing I like about them is that they are, as their name aptly suggests, clear. You may not even notice that it is there unless you look closer. There is no real advantage there that I know of; it is just kind of cool!

Finally, it is waterproof. I know some folks who use their Kindles at the beach, at the pool, and even in the bathtub. However, even if you don’t do that, you may still need to keep from spilling that cup of coffee or water on it while you are reading!

Interested? You can check it out on Amazon (along with all the reviews) here!

The New Kindle Fire Commercial

Here’s the new Kindle Fire commercial. Are you excited yet?! I am working on a full video review of the device coming soon, hopefully this week.

Kindle Fire Hurting Amazon’s Profits?

While the Kindle Fire seem to be taking off like crazy, the Kindle Fire may actually really hurt Amazon in the long run.

Amazon, like many other tablet and cell phone manufacturers, will often sell the actual product itself at a loss in order to get it in people’s hand and hopefully make the money back on the content that folks purchase on the devices. This has worked quite well for many businesses in the past, Apple being one of them (think iPhone plus iTunes).

The Kindle Fire is no exception for Amazon, but now it seems that Amazon may end up struggling, at least until the revenue from purchased content catches up. Amazon is having to create millions more Kindle Fire models than they expected due to the overwhelming volume of pre-orders. Each once sold constitutes a loss for the company, and ith more selling than expected, this could really hurt them over the next couple of quarters, especially with Christmas coming up.

However, I predict that Amazon will have no problem recovering. With all of these folks buying the Kindle Fire, most of them will be buying all kinds of content on the device through Amazon, meaning they will get their revenue back in spades once all is said and done!