Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been on the market for exactly seven months today, and it looks likely that before the 7-inch tablet reaches its first birthday it will be revised and updated by Amazon. It is also likely that the 7-inch version will be joined by a little brother.

According to a recent report by Digitimes, Amazon is preparing to lower the price of the Kindle Fire to $149, in an attempt to clear out older stock before the new line-up appears. The same report says that the new models will come at the beginning of the third quarter.

Combine this with the anticipated release of the Kindle Fire outside of America and it could mean that Amazon isn’t just planning to unleash the first generation Fire on Europe, but rather a whole new line up. It is estimated that Amazon managed to sell around 4.5 million Kindle Fires during the first few months of its launch, however the company only managed to sell a further 800,000 during the first three months of this year. By releasing the Kindle Fire in Europe and by revamping the lineup (including possible permanent price changes) Amazon hopes to boost sales.

So what can you expect? First, the original Fire will drop in price to $149 – to start  clearing the existing stock. Then Amazon will announce and launch the new line-up as well as the expansion into Europe. The new line-up will probably comprise of three models. A new 10.1-inch version, a better 7-inch model with a greater screen resolution – maybe even as high as 1280 by 800 – and a refresh of the original version with the same 1024 by 600 pixels screen.

Details on the 10.1-inch version are thin on the ground, but it will need to have a good features list and be aggressively priced to compete with the offerings from Apple, Samsung, and the Google tablet coming at Google I/O.

Why two 7-inch versions? Pricing. Amazon could be trying to push even harder into the budget markets by offering a revamped first generation Kindle Fire (probably with lower production costs) for just $149. Then the new 7-inch Fire, with the 1280 by 800 screen, will sell at the original $199 price point.

One thing is for sure, Amazon is very serious about the tablet market, and since Amazon (unlike other Android tablet manufacturers) has its own content to offer (films, music, books), its market share and dominance are almost guaranteed.

Do you own a Kindle Fire? Would you recommend it to someone else? What about a 10.1-inch version or a new higher resolution variant, are you tempted? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
  • AppleFUD

    Picked up a KF refurb for $139. . . returned it in three weeks.

    It’s not bad and I can see how it would be fine for a lot of people. It’s easy to hold and the hardware is solid. However, for anyone that wants to really us Android it just isn’t the tablet especially considering the Nexus tablet — flash a custom ROM I hear you say? Well, try and find an ICS KF ROM that doesn’t have major bugs — how long has the KF & ICS been out?

    Using default KF OS. . . well, it feels a lot like an apple iOS product — use only their services or nothing at all. The big problem is that you can’t load a lot of the great apps you would want without jumping through all the standard hacks and I figured, what’s the point in dealing with it when a Nexus tablet is just around the corner? If I buy an Android product I’ll stick with Nexus devices until I see an OEM use stock Android and be quick with updates and long term upgrades.

  • Jsh1120

    Have an iPad 2, a Kindle Fire, and a high end Android smartphone. I doubt I’ll be tempted by the 10.1″ Kindle Fire. In fact, as an Amazon stockholder I’m skeptical about its introduction. Amazon is a great company but it’s not a computer company and the support burden associated with a full-fledged Android tablet designed to compete directly with the iPad strikes me as a “bridge too far.”

  • Prof Boerner

    My wife owns a Kindle Fire and we also have Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 ebook readers. The Fire was disappointing: No camera, Poor web browsing, No Text-to-Speech (built-in), and No Hardware buttons. Navigation is relatively more difficult than on my other Android devices. I hope that Amazon listens to these deficiencies and doesn’t just try to tweak the screen resolution; that would be a cosmetic step and counter-productive. I would also like a SD or mini-SD card slot for further storage, especially of music and photos. I do not want to use the “cloud” for storing my photos! But at the price, the Fire is not a bad value and my wife likes the ebook reading experience, but she doesn’t use it much like a tablet…

  • Anon

    The Kindle Fire is an outstanding tablet for the price. It is not like other Android tablets, that is true, because of the total change in appearance that Amazon gave the software. I’m a huge Android fan, but I understand why they did it. We have three Kindle Fires in my family (plus a Xoom, plus several different Android phones). For what it does, and the price we paid, the Fire is the best deal by far (not the best device, but the best for the money).