UPDATE: Amazon did, in fact, unveil a new Kindle today -- the new Kindle "Paperwhite," which the company will sell for
In the ongoing arms race that is the battle for the tablet market, Seattle' Amazon has made splashes in the past, but so far failed to grab the sales numbers that Apple's iPad has enjoyed. Instead, Amazon has relied on an approach that prices its Kindle Fire at half the price of Apple's cheapest offering, and then banks on sales from the Amazon online store.
Today, according to multiple reports, Amazon - and CEO Jeff Bezos, speaking from an old airplane hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. - are expected to unveil the next chapter in the tablet battle, a new Kindle Fire, designed to capture more of the table market and further bolster Amazon's online sales.
In the nine months since it began selling in November, Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S., Amazon said last week. The company also said it sold out of the devices, which suggest that Amazon halted production in preparation for a new model.
Although it didn't divulge actual sales figures, analysts Anthony DiClemente with Barclays Capital estimates that Amazon sold 7 million tablets combined from November through the end of June.
Its sales amounted to just 5 percent of the global market in the second quarter, far smaller than the 68 percent market share for Apple's iPad. And behind the 10 percent share for Samsung's Galaxy Tab, he said.
The story goes on to note that Apple has moved over 84 million iPads since its debut, and 17 million from April to June.
Perhaps even more titillating, The Verge reported yesterday that Amazon may debut a smartphone to the press today - which will run an Android-based operating system similar to the Kindle Fire's.
From The Verge:
The phone itself is said to be currently unfinished, so if Amazon does announce it we wouldn't expect too many details. But at this point we would expect it to run a forked version of Android 4.0 as the leaded Kindle Fire seems to do, and to include Nokia Maps as the location solution - forking Android means Amazon can't use Google Maps, and Nokia spoke today of adding a "major" mapping partner at its own Windows Phone event.
But back to the Kindle Fire. If Amazon does, indeed, unveil a new Kindle Fire today as is widely expected, it certainly won't come as a surprise, and not just because the AP is already writing about it. The tablet market is hot right now, with Google's Nexus 7 now in the mix, and Microsoft expected to start selling its Surface tablet (which, despite its name, is not a feminine hygiene product) in October. There's also speculation that Apple may unveil a new, smaller, cheaper iPad next week.
And so the battle seems destine to continue.
Previously on The Daily Weekly: