We’ve reported on speculations and rumors about Amazon’s plans for refreshing the Kindle line of e-readers and tablets for a while, but most of these contradicted one another or they simply didn’t ring true for some reason.
Fortunately, a couple of FCC filings now seem to be nicely putting pieces of the puzzle together to give us a pretty accurate idea of how will Amazon’s new gadgets look like this Fall. We’ve already told you about a supposed 10-inch Kindle Fire getting the regulatory certification about a week ago, and now a more basic e-reader has been spotted at the FCC too.
Codenamed EY21, this new Kindle will most likely follow in the footsteps of the fourth-generation e-book readers launched in 2011 and going by the name of Kindle (or Kindle 4) and Kindle Touch. The soon-to-be-unveiled gadget will most likely be equipped with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity options, but might lack one important feature we all hoped to see introduced sooner rather than later by Amazon.
That’s right: the 5th Kindle will also come lacking any kind of integrated front lighting. Oh well, maybe next time!
Exactly like the 10-incher from last week, the e-reader wasn’t submitted to the FCC directly by Amazon. The front company used this time around is called Hannaford LLC (last time it was Harpers LLC). Hannaford has the exact same address as one Corporation Service Company, which is thought to be another front firm used by Amazon. And to think the poor guys went to all this trouble to make the Kindle untraceable and they still failed.
There isn’t much we can tell about the new Kindle based only on the FCC filing, but it’s pretty clear this will sport an e-ink display, so it’s out of the question that we’re actually dealing with a full-fledged tablet. That said, it is becoming more and more likely to not see Amazon releasing a 7-inch follow-up for the highly successful Kindle Fire. Not anytime soon, at least.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a dangerous game Amazon is trying to get itself into. It’s true: the 7-inch tablet niche has become very competitive with the Nexus 7’s release, but the 10-inchers are still clearly dominated by the iPads. A powerful 10-inch tab with a $250-$300 price tag would surely give Apple a run for their money, but can Amazon really pull it off?
In other news, it seems that Amazon has registered the “Firedock” trademark, which was supposed to be a Grace Digital Audio-manufactured speaker dock for the 7-inch Fire. The accessory never made it onto the market, but it might now be released directly by Amazon. Maybe in another form? Maybe for the upcoming 10-incher? Maybe as a keyboard dock similar to the one used by Asus in the Transformer line of tablets? We shall see!
The rumor mill seems to have only started grinding for Amazon’s upcoming Kindles, so watch this space to find out all there is to know about future products from the tech giant. In the meantime, tell us if you’d be more interested in a 7-inch tab from the company, a 10-incher, or a fresh new basic e-reader.