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Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) is scheduled to make some major announcements on Thursday, and speculation is rife regarding just how many new products with which new features the company may be preparing to launch. While most expect Amazon to come up with an updated version of the Kindle Fire tablet, including possibly one model that matches the larger size of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, there are also enough rumors of a possible Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android-based smartphone being previewed. We round up the entire buzz:
That a new Kindle line was on its way became obvious when Amazon announced that the company’s $199 tablet had been sold out on its website, nine months after going on sale. While Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) U.S. retail chief Demos Parneros said recently that Amazon was likely to launch five or six new tablets, that number is likely inclusive of several storage options in two different tablet sizes. While a new Kindle Fire and a new Kindle Touch e-reader are the most likely possible introductions, there have been murmurs of a possible new 4G-capable tablet, too. Whether Amazon goes the whole hog and takes on the ultra-successful iPad with a new 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire will also be interesting to watch.
In terms of new specifications, there is talk that Amazon may add a front-facing camera that enables video chatting to the new tablets. They may also get a faster new processor, such as the Google Nexus 7’s quad-core Tegra 3 chip, and a higher-resolution 1280 x 800 screen. The new e-reader may also get a backlit feature that has become popular in that line of rival devices. On Wednesday night, Amazon released an ad on national TV that showed glimpses of what appeared to be a backlit Kindle e-reader and a larger Kindle tablet.
As far as the rumors of the smartphone go, Amazon has been predicted to be offering a preview of the device on Thursday. The device may run a forked version of Android 4.0 and include Nokia Maps as the location solution. In its own event on Wednesday, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) had announced it was adding a major mapping partner.
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