Amazon sent out press invitations for a media event in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 6, creating a flurry of rumors and speculation that the company will unveil a new, larger Kindle Fire tablet.
The invitation had almost no details for what the event will be about, revealing only that it will take place at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, a larger building that hosts corporate events and film shoots. The location of the event--so close to Los Angeles--has led many to speculate that Amazon will focus on entertainment and content at the event.
Almost a year ago, On Sept. 28, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the $199 Kindle Fire, the company's first true media tablet. Amazon has not divulged how many it has sold since the gadget went on sale last fall. According to IDC, the Kindle Fire represented just 5 percent of the global tablet market in the second quarter, compared with 68 percent for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and 9.6 percent for Samsung Electronics' tablets.
Reports and rumors have indicated that Amazon will likely unveil a larger, upgraded version of the Kindle Fire with a better screen and camera. An outside possibility is that Amazon will announce its own smartphone. A July Bloomberg report said that Amazon is going to produce a smartphone running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform in a bid to both challenge Apple's iPhone and offer another vehicle through which it could sell content.
"It might be beneficial for Amazon to have more than one tablet device in their repertoire," Frost & Sullivan analyst Pete Finalle told Reuters. "Having a larger tablet that comes in at a lower price point than Apple's iPad would be particularly beneficial."
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this AllThingsD article
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
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