Amazon’s larger Kindle Fire is still in the pipeline, sources insist, scaling up from the existing 7-inch slate as Apple reportedly scales down to tweener tablet levels. A namedrop in the same NYT article that threw further weight against the iPad mini rumors, according to unnamed developers the retailer is pushing ahead with what’s tipped to be a roughly 10-inch variant of the Kindle Fire, bringing the challenge to Apple’s new iPad.
While Amazon spokespeople unsurprisingly declined to comment on the newspaper’s chatter, the idea of a new, larger Kindle Fire isn’t exactly new. Even before the original Kindle Fire was revealed, speculation had it that Amazon was working on not one but two devices: a cheap, small model (which went on to hit virtual shelves at $199) and a larger, more capable version.
That second model never arrived, however, with talk that Amazon encountered issues with components and performance, among other things. However, going by the insider whispers, that work might be culminating again in a larger device due later in 2012.
Exact hardware details are in short supply, but Android is undoubtedly running – albeit heavily reskinned for Amazon’s content-selling purposes – under the hood, and a screen sized more akin to the 9.7-inch current iPad is likely.
Any launch is most likely to take place alongside the second-generation 7-inch Kindle Fire, which as rumor would have it is due in Q3 with a 1280 x 800 display. Amazon is also tipped to be working on a Kindle smartphone.