Amazon Kindle Fire HD

An analyst believes that Amazon will unveil a bigger 10-inch Kindle Fire model later this year, which would take on similar rivals including the iPad or the Google Nexus 10.

NPD DisplaySearch analyst Richard Shim told CNET that Amazon is “moving up to the 10-inch class” after having previously released two-generations of 7-inch Kindle Fire and the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire models.

The new model will reportedly sport a 10.1-inch display with a 2560 x 1600 resolution – about 300 pixel per inch (PPI) – which would match the resolution of the current Samsung-made Google Nexus 10 tablet.

Other specs and features for this unconfirmed 10-inch Kindle Fire model have not been mentioned so far, but Shim said that display production for the tablet is apparently set to start in the third quarter.

In addition to unveiling a new size for its Kindle Fire tablet line, Amazon is also expected to release new 7- and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire versions that would also sport improved displays when it comes to resolution, with all of them said to offer users a 300 PPI ratio.

nexus 7 vs kindle fire

Naturally, we’ll remind you that analysts aren’t always right, and we’re still treating everything they say as rumors until products become official.

That said, hearing that Amazon may be interested in coming up with an even higher-end tablet than the current 8.9-inch HD model makes plenty of sense considering that Amazon is quite successful at selling Android tablets – even if they’re running a forked OS version.

After somewhat taking the industry by storm when it introduced an affordable 7-inch Android tablet back in 2011 – everyone from Google to Apple released smaller, cheaper tablets as a response in the year that followed – Amazon managed to secure a top three position when it comes to tablet shipments in past quarters. For Q1 2013, Amazon ranked fourth after Apple, Samsung and Asus, according to IDC.

While not being able to match Apple and Samsung in terms of quarterly tablet sales, Amazon still outpaced Microsoft (since the Windows 8 tablets came out) and battled Asus for third-spot (see IDC table below), which can only mean that the company is willing to put up a great fight in the tablet business in the years to come.

Also worth remembering is the fact that Amazon is yet to be present in a variety of markets with its Kindle Fire tablets, and we can surely expect to see Amazon target more countries with its tablets as it continues its content stores expansion – China is the latest market in which the Amazon Appstore was launched.

Finally, while we have seen already a variety of new tablets launched this year – the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 or the budget-friendly Acer Iconia A1 to name just a few – Google, Apple, Samsung and Microsoft are all expected to launch new models in the coming months, not to mention that affordable Intel-based Android-based notebooks are also in the works. These are all plenty of more reasons to see Amazon interested in expanding its tablet efforts this year.

Assuming Shim is right and the 10.1 Kindle Fire tablet is coming later this year, we’re certainly interested to see how much the device will cost compared with rival offerings from Apple, Samsung and Google.

Anyone looking forward to a 10.1-inch Kindle Fire or do you already have a different tablet in mind for later this year?

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