Amazon has announced that the Kindle Fire 2, the next-generation of the popular e-reader tablet, will ship in the third quarter of this year. The Fire’s successor will have a camera, much higher resolution display, and will be thinner and lighter than its predecessor.
The Kindle Fire 2 will have a 1,280 x 800 resolution display (current is 1,024 x 600), a 67% increase in total pixel count and a much more common aspect display ratio, says AllThingsD, who broke the story over the weekend.
That puts it on par with rivals like the Nexus 7. Adding a small camera makes it competitive with others in the space as well, though it still will not be a true tablet in the sense of the iPad and other, higher-priced options.
Other sources, including BGR, say that Amazon plans to roll out two versions of the Fire 2. A smaller, 7-inch version is being called the “Coyote” while a larger, 10-inch version is being called the “Hollywood.” Given that Amazon put a lot of time into the development of the Fire brand, it’s unlikely that these names would be used in marketing. They’re probably development code names.
Amazon is likely to make an official announcement on the Kindle Fire 2 sometime in the next month or so, since a Q3 launch would mean they’ll need to begin building up the hype. Since the original Kindle Fire is nearing its first birthday and rivals like the Nexus 7 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook have been gaining market share, Amazon needs to work fast to retain its position.