Amazon is reportedly preparing to launch an updated 7-inch Kindle Fire alongside a brand new 9-inch tablet this summer. Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley on Thursday raised his full-year Kindle Fire shipment forecast to 14.9 million units, up from his earlier estimate of 12.7 million. “We believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012,” Bartley wrote in a note to clients. BGR exclusively reported last May that Amazon was working on two tablet models, the 7-inch “Coyote” that ended up launching at the Kindle Fire last November, and the quad-core 10-inch “Hollywood.” A later report would suggest that Amazon tweaked its tablet roadmap, however, pushing the release of its 10-inch model back in order to first launch a new 8.9-inch tablet. Bartley also lowered his shipment estimates on Amazon’s E Ink Kindle eReaders from 28.6 million units to 24 million units.
The Kindle Fire hasn’t even hit the market yet but the tablet’s successor is already reported to be set for a launch in the second half of next year. Reportedly, Foxconn has secured orders for the device and is working to get the tablet out of the door and onto store shelves during that time period, DigiTimes said on Wednesday. Quanta Computer is building the current generation Kindle Fire, although Amazon is largely believed to already have a second-generation quad-core “Hollywood” tablet in the pipeline. Early speculation has suggested the Hollywood tablet will have a 10-inch display and BGR exclusively reported in May that it will be powered by NVIDIA’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. Foxconn has not yet confirmed it received the orders from Amazon, but the report matches up with several rumors that suggested the tablet would ship later than initially expected. More →
Warner Bros, Sony, Paramount and 20th Century Fox’s UltraViolet service, which will allow consumers to stream purchased movies to internet connected devices, will make its debut this week. The movie studios hope UltraViolet will attract consumers back to purchasing movies instead of simply renting them. Here’s how it will work: when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray disc with an UltraViolet label, you will have the option to also stream the movie to portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, or to connected TVs. The idea is that users will be able to permanently purchase a movie and keep a copy of it in the cloud. “We want to emphasize the concept of ‘buy once, play anywhere,’” Warner Bros president of digital distribution Thomas Gewecke said. For now, it remains unclear how successful the service will be, as many consumers have instead opted for products that provide streaming access to large libraries of movies, such as cable set-top boxes, Boxee or Roku. “Green Lantern” and “Horrible Bosses” are the first two movies to offer an UltraViolet option, and both films will be available for purchase on Friday.
Amazon’s second tablet, initially thought to be scheduled for a late 2011 or early 2012 launch, may not begin shipping to users until after the first quarter next year. According to a report from DigiTimes on Wednesday, Amazon will use manufacturing giant Foxconn to assemble its 10-inch tablets, and mass production is not set to begin until some time in the first quarter of 2012. Depending on when production ramps up, this likely means the tablet will not be released until the second quarter at the earliest. BGR exclusively reported back in May that Amazon was developing a flagship “Hollywood” tablet powered by NVIDIA’s upcoming quad-core Kal-El chipset alongside its 7-inch “Coyote” slate. Amazon will reportedly unveil the dual-core Coyote later this fall. More →
According to a report issued by Forrester Research on Monday, Amazon could “easily” sell between 3 and 5 million tablets during the fourth quarter of this year if it prices the tablet “significantly” below the iPad and can meet customer demand. “Thus far, Apple has faced many would-be competitors, but none have gained significant market share,” Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps wrote. “Not only does Amazon have the potential to gain share quickly but its willingness to sell hardware at a loss, as it did with the Kindle, makes Amazon a nasty competitor.” The online retailer has yet to announce its tablet, but BGR exclusively reported that Amazon has two Android-powered models coming down the pipeline, including an entry-level dual-core “Coyote” tablet and an NVIDIA quad-core Kal-El-powered “Hollywood” slate. “If Amazon’s Android-based tablet sells in the millions, Android will suddenly appear much more attractive to developers who have taken a wait-and-see approach,” Epps added. According to a report issued on Friday, Amazon’s success could be driven by its effort to undercut the price of Apple’s iPad by “hundreds” of dollars. More →
Amazon’s manufacturing partner is expected to ship as many as 3 million tablets for the online retail giant this quarter, Taiwan Economic News reports. BGR exclusively reported this past May that Amazon is currently prepping two tablets for launch, a low-end dual-core “Coyote” and a high-end quad-core “Hollywood.” The former is expected to hit the market first and Amazon is preparing to make quite a splash, as it reportedly has ordered between 800,000 and 1 million units each month this quarter from manufacturing partner Quanta Computer. The new order estimates are up from the 700,000 – 800,000 units reported in May by DigiTimes. Foxconn is said to have landed the contract to manufacture Amazon’s high-end 10.1-inch “Hollywood” tablet, which is expected to start shipping next year. More →
Amazon announced on Thursday that it has inked an agreement with NBCUniversal to provide its subscription customers with access to 1,000 Universal Pictures movies. The deal is in addition to the online retailer’s recent agreement with CBS to offer shows such as Star Trek and Cheers to its customers. The new content includes films such as Being John Malkovich, Jetsons, Flipper, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Billy Elliott. Amazon is largely expected to release at least one tablet in the coming months, which will provide its customers with near instant access to its Amazon Unbox, Amazon Mp3, Kindle, Cloud Music and Cloud Drive services. Comcast owns 51% of NBCUniversal while General Electric owns the remaining 49%. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Read on for the full press release. More →
It could very well be that Android’s best hope for a competitive tablet offering in the near term lies in Amazon’s hands. Retrevo Labs, a division of consumer electronics shopping site Retrevo, surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers in June to find out what people are looking for in a tablet. While 50% of those surveyed who intended to purchase a tablet this year said it would be an iPad, Retrevo determined that the most important feature to prospective tablet buyers is a low price point. Considering the unlikelihood of Apple budging when it comes to price, Android tablets have a clear opportunity to attack the market at more affordable price points. Among those brands that respondents would seriously consider buying a tablet from excluding Apple, Amazon was given the nod by 55% of those surveyed, followed by Samsung and Dell at 38% each. BGR reported exclusively that Amazon is working on two tablets it hopes to launch in 2011, a dual-core slate codenamed “Coyote” and a quad-core beast codenamed “Hollywood.” And as we discussed in a recent podcast, we think Amazon has the best chance to make some serious waves in the still-emerging tablet space. Amazon has several content ecosystems that will be at the core of its tablet offering such as the Kindle eBook store, a streaming movie service, its cloud locker service for streaming music and, of course, the Amazon Appstore. If deeply integrated into a customized Android build, these content channels could combine to produce a rich, comprehensive tablet experience. Additional graphs from Retrevo’s study follow below.
Foxconn will build Amazon’s rumored 10.1-inch tablet, DigiTimes reported on Thursday. The Android tablet is expected to ship in 2012 according to the report, but Amazon may want to get the device out the door a bit earlier in order to to have it on store shelves in time for the holiday season. A smaller 7-inch version that was built by Quanta computer is already on its way to Amazon and, while other reports suggested it is a 9-inch tablet, that is likely the model we have heard will launch in late August or September. We broke the news that Amazon will launch a “Coyote” tablet that packs a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra processor, as well as a larger “Hollywood” tablet powered by the new quad-core Kal-El chip. Since Kal-El devices aren’t shipping to consumers yet, it could be a safe bet to guess that Quanta Computer built the Coyote tablet while Foxconn has scored the order for the more powerful Hollywood device. More →
According to a new report from DigiTimes, Amazon is expected to ship a “conservative” 1-1.2 million of its new tablets during the third quarter — a time frame that’s in line with earlier reports that the online retailer would get its unannounced tablet out the door by August. Reportedly, orders from Amazon are the most positive of all tablet-builders so far, and the company is expected to demand as many as 2 million touch panel displays in August and September. While very little is known about Amazon’s tablet — or possibly tablets — we have heard that it is prepping an entry level model codenamed “Coyote,” with an NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, as well as a second more powerful “Hollywood” model that’s powered by NVIDIA’s new quad-core T30 “Kal-El” processor, which offers a 500% performance increase over Tegra 2. Amazon already has a number of services that will compliment a tablet perfectly, such as Cloud Drive, Cloud Player, Amazon MP3, Unbox streaming videos, Kindle, and more — all of which will no doubt help it stir up the current tablet market. More →
According to DigiTimes, Amazon’s rumored Android tablets could launch as soon as this August or September. The online retail giant has a global sales target of 4 million units, with 700,000-800,000 units shipping monthly, and it hopes to get its products in customer hands during the peak sales period of the year — just before Thanksgiving and the holidays. We’ve reported exclusively that Amazon will launch the dual-core “Coyote” and quad-core “Hollywood” tablets sometime this year, and early reports suggested the tablets are already in the manufacturing stage. Reportedly, Amazon has contracted Texas Instruments, Wintek, ILI Technology, and Quanta Computer for parts and assembly. It’s been widely expected that Amazon will launch a streaming movie service on its tablets, too. More →
Amazon has plans to offer a streaming movie service tied to its forthcoming own-branded tablets, researchers at Detwiler Fenton claim. According to the research team, Amazon’s streaming movie service will be available to early adopters of Amazon’s tablet for free. The revelation seems obvious, but the Boston-based research firm’s claim could be the first well-sourced confirmation of the service, reports of which were purely speculative until now. It is also believed that Amazon’s tablets will feature deep integration with Amazon’s Cloud Locker streaming music service, and the Amazon Appstore will likely be a point of focus as well. BGR exclusively reported last month that Amazon is working on a pair of tablets — the dual-core “Coyote” and the quad-core “Hollywood” — that will give the company new revenue streams to compliment its dedicated Kindle eReaders. More →
Unlike Amazon and Google who launched half-baked cloud storage services for music, it’s going to be Apple that shows the world how something is done properly once again, it seems. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple has finally struck deals with the four major recording companies in addition to movie studios:
Apple Inc. has reached terms with major recorded-music companies to allow it to launch a digital locker service that would be more robust than those currently offered by Google Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
According to these people, deals with three labels have been completed, and the fourth, with Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, is likely to be signed this week. Apple has signed deals with Warner Music Group Corp., Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Group Ltd.
Add that on to a CNET report that Apple executives were all over film studios for more than a year, and it sure looks like iCloud won’t be just a simple MP3 locker, but a robust service that combines all kinds of multimedia, and most likely, social and location-aware elements as well, tied tightly into iOS 5. More →