When we reported that Amazon was working on a number of Android devices earlier this year, shortly thereafter, reports began surfacing that the company would release two Android tablets before year's end, one 7", the other 10". The 7" device, now known as the Kindle Fire, is obviously for real.
But what about its supposed big brother? At this point, it seems almost imminent that it will be released. It also sounds very much like Amazon will unveil this bigger, better, Fiery-er device in time for Christmas in the US, and now we've got at least two reasons to think this is happening.
First, Russ Grandinetti, Senior VP of Kindle at Amazon, when asked by Engadget if a larger Kindle Fire could be expected, told the site "stay tuned." Considering Amazon's often tight-lipped approach to future product announcements, this is practically a confirmation that the Fire's beefed-up, priced-up 10" model is very real. Grandinetti may as well have said "yes, but we aren't announcing it today."
Second, a report from Digi Times, who often post inside tips from Chinese and Taiwanese hardware manufacturers, suggested that Amazon has now contracted with Foxconn to build its 10.1" tablet, and that it will ship in time for the holiday season. Now, this is anonymous source, but considering the sort of business Digi Times is in, we feel like it's probably a safe bet that they aren't going to print something this specific if it's totally unsubstantiated.
With earlier rumors about two tablets matching the screen sizes of the Fire and its yet-to-be-announced 10.1" sibling, this doesn't feel like mere coincidence. The only part we're skeptical about at this point is the release date, but Amazon still has plenty of time to announce the Fire before the post-Thanksgiving pre-Christmas shopping bonanza begins here in the US.
So, what can we expect in the bigger 10" Kindle? I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest more storage (maybe an SD card slot), and possibly a front-facing camera. At that point, it becomes a true budget iPad competitor. We'll be keeping a close eye on this situation, but hopefully something more concrete will emerge in the coming weeks.