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NYT: iPad Mini, 10-inch Kindle Fire 2 on track to debut this year

July 16, 2012
Image Credit: NYT

The Google Nexus 7 tablet has been just launched, and it’s selling like hot cakes, at least according to various third-party retailers that have sold out their initial Nexus 7 allotments. But the 7-inch Jelly Bean device will have some fierce competition in the near future, both from Apple and Amazon.

A fresh New York Times report mentions that both companies are readying new tablets to be released in then near future, the iPad Mini and the new Kindle Fire, respectively.

Apple iPad Mini

We have recently compared the Nexus 7 with various 7-inch rivals, including the iPad Mini – we have used available rumors for this initial comparison, as we have a general idea of what Apple’s smaller tablet could offer.

ipad mini vs nexus 7

The Times now reports that the tablet will feature a 7.85-inch touchscreen display – something we already knew – and that the device will sell “for significantly less than the latest $499 iPad,” which somewhat confirms the previous $249 price tag for the iPad Mini that was mentioned in other reports.

The Times compares Apple’s iPod strategy – the company came out with various models a few years ago to make sure it stayed atop the music player business – with current iPad plans. That iPod diversification – various iPod models sold at various price points to meet various needs from consumers – worked well for Apple as no company really managed to dethrone the former computer-only maker from the number one position it quickly acquired in the music player business thanks to the iPod.

Similarly, Apple is dominating the tablet business right now, with no Android tablet, or any other kind, being able to truly deliver a blow to Apple’s iPad sales. Even the Kindle Fire was not really a threat for the iPad, but rather a nuisance for existing Android tablets, which prompted Google to come out initially with a Kindle Fire-killer rather than a full-fledged iPad-killer.

These 7-inch devices have shown that there’s definitely interest in smaller tablets, and now appears to be the best moment for Apple to come out with the Mini version, a device that was rumored for more than a year. Not to mention that the Times report adds even more credibility to the rumor, even though Apple declined to go on record regarding such rumors – the Times spoke with “several people with knowledge of the project who declined to be named discussing confidential plans.”

Amazon Kindle Fire 2

We have extensively covered the Kindle Fire 2 rumors for you, noting that, depending on who you ask, Amazon will launch more than one new tablet this year, with screen size set at 7-inch, 8.9-inch and 10-inch. The Times adds further to the confusion, suggesting that Amazon is going to respond to Apple’s iPad Mini with a bigger Kindle Fire model that would compete against the iPad. Therefore the publication seems to indicate a 10-inch Kindle Fire 2 is in the works, and while Amazon “declined to comment,” the Times had a credible source, a developer familiar with the project:

Amazon is working on a new version of the Kindle Fire, with a larger display, that could compete more directly with the iPad, according to a developer briefed on Amazon’s plans who did not want to be identified talking about unannounced products.

However, the Times did not go into more details about such a device, as it dedicated its feature on the impending arrival of the new iPad Mini and its impact on the market.

What budget-friendly tablet will you buy this year and why?