According to Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley, Amazon is preparing to launch a 9-inch Kindle Fire by the middle of 2012. No details were mentioned, but we can assume that the larger screen will also bring improved internals, making this a more likely iPad competitor.
Bartley said that he expected the 9-inch model to increase Kindle Fire sales in 2012 from the expected 12.7 million units to 14.9 million units, and based his predictions on his own checks with Amazon’s component suppliers.
Of course, these checks can give a potential look at a company’s upcoming plans, but they’re unreliable and have been known to steer analysts down the wrong path. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors of a larger Kindle Fire, but thus far, Amazon has not commented on the possibility.
Another analyst, Ezra Gottheil of Technology Business Research has said that he believes that Apple is planning to release a 7-inch iPad around the same time that Amazon releases its 9-inch version – mid 2012. However, he doesn’t seem to have a source to back up the information, and Steve Jobs was known to be a vehement opponent of the 7-inch tablet idea.
An Amazon 9-inch tablet sounds like a reasonably addition to the smaller Kindle Fire, but I won’t be holding my breath for that 7-inch iPad.