Here's an interesting twist. A previous report indicated that Amazon planned to inject ads onto the Kindle Fire's welcome screen. The company is reportedly shopping around the idea to ad agencies, although it's presently unclear if Amazon intends to insert ads into the already-purchased Kindle Fire tablets, or launch its ad network on new models.
Now there's a rumor that could possibly be linked to the ad-supported report. "Industry sources" intercepted by DigiTimes claim that Amazon may suspend the launch of its next-generation 8.9-inch Kindle Fire tablet, and launch a 10.1-inch version alongside the 7-inch model instead. This plan makes a lot more sense, as consumers seemingly flock to the Kindle Fire 7-inch form factor or Apple's iPad 9.7-inch form factor, leaving others in the middle to collect dust.
According to the unnamed sources, Amazon is trying to simplify its tablet lineup to focus its competition against the iPad. The 8.9-inch tablet was originally planned to take on Samsung's Galaxy Tab (DigiTimes says Note), but Amazon's own Kindle Fire took dominance of the Android tablet sector, making Samsung's tablet less of a threat.
The DigiTimes sources said Amazon will ship an entry-level Kindle Fire, a rumor that brings us back to the ad-based model. This could mean that the ad-based tablet components are upgraded from the current model, but the device itself will lack features that will be available in the premium 2nd-generation 7-inch Kindle Fire. The 10.1-inch version will probably share the premium feature, but just on a larger screen. Thus Amazon will offer three models just like Apple when the latter unleashes the 7-inch iPad Mini in the same timeframe.
Tablet orders from Amazon are expected to start gaining momentum at the end of the second quarter or in early third quarter, sources said. The next wave is expected to arrive in the same timeframe as the original Kindle Fire, if not sooner.