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8.9-inch Kindle Fire narrowed down to late spring in rumor

updated 12:35 am EST, Mon November 21, 2011

Kindle Fire 8.9 may be made to avoid iPad sizing

Amazon's rumored 8.9-inch Kindle Fire has been given a narrower release window and possible deliberate attempt to compete outside of Apple's space through a new claim early Monday. Although a 10.1-inch version of the Android tablet is still considered an option, only an 8.9-inch model has been picked and would ship near the end of the spring, Digitimes heard. LG Display and Samsung were pitching 8.9-inch panels to start, but the real goal was evade competition with "9.7-10.1-inch products," or the iPad and Android tablets from HTC, Samsung, and other majors.

To help cope with demand, contract manufacturing heavyweight Foxconn was reportedly coming onboard to join the original builder, Quanta. Foxconn would join in making the existing Kindle Fire in the winter, followed by producing the 8.9-inch version in the spring.

Amazon has given hints that it has more than one Android tablet in development, asking the media to "stay tuned" regarding future plans. The second, larger model has long been rumored to be the 'real' tablet that the online retailer wanted to launch where the current, seven-inch model is a stopgap known to be reusing BlackBerry PlayBook components to have an answer to both the Nook Tablet and the iPad on shelves for this year.

A second size may be inevitable given that Amazon has decided to boost its shipments by millions. The Kindle Fire may become the most popular Android tablet almost immediately, both through its low price as well as its deliberate attempt to avoid competing directly with Apple, where Samsung and most others have failed. An 8.9-inch screen would try to maximize the differences and keep a larger tablet more distinct even as it more directly attacks the iPad.

So far, the 8.9-inch strategy hasn't worked for most companies. Neither the Galaxy Tab 8.9 nor the Optimus Pad have set sales records, in part because they cost only slightly less than 10-inch tablets.

by MacNN Staff



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