Analysts’ predictions are often not worth the electrons they’re printed on, but CNET reports Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley has said in a research note to investors that Amazon could launch an iPad-sized 9-inch Kindle Fire by the middle of the year. Such a device could increase expected Kindle Fire sales from 12.7 million to 14.9 million units this year. He based this information on his contacts with Amazon component suppliers, which does not necessarily mean it will be accurate.

This is only the latest in a number of reports that have suggested a 9-inch Fire could launch sometime this year, so the only thing really new about it is the source. It made a lot of sense for Amazon to introduce a mid-sized tablet early on and get people hooked on its platform. At least some of those will be inclined to upgrade to the 9-inch version, and people whose friends enjoyed the 7-inch version but who want something larger themselves might be more inclined to buy it as well.

The only downside for Amazon is that this larger Fire will be going head-to-head against Apple’s same-sized iPad, rather than positioning itself in a niche Apple had no plans of filling. The most visible previous competitors in that position—the BlackBerry PlayBook, the HP TouchPad—haven’t done so well. And if Apple kicks the game up another notch with a new Retina Display in this year’s iPad 3, that will steal some of the luster from a cheaper standard-display 9” Fire.

And, of course, we’ve not yet seen any confirmation that Amazon is really planning a 9” Fire at all.


  1. I could care less about the screen size, what a new Kindle Fire needs is EXTERNAL storage (a la the Nook Color), especially with the added capability of streaming music, video, etc. Also the ability to run the Fire on a true version of Android (again a la the Nook Color) would make the Fire even more attractive.

    I am currently a Kindle Keyboard Wifi owner on the fence about upgrading. Amazon has one more chance to get it “right” by adding external storage before I defect to the Nook Color. I have two other family members on the fence about buying the Fire after I pointed out the missing elements I’ve mentioned.

  2. E.,
    Both the Nook and Kindle have been rooted. I think the Nook Tablet has put up more obstacles lately though in the new tablet. The Nook Tablet lets you have 1 gig of internal memory out of 16G for your own material. Otherwise you need to use B&N media for internal storage. It withdrew permissions to let people who are not hackers/rooters to install apps from ‘unknown sources.’ Amazon allows it, so I have apps from everywhere on mine.

    You can, after paying $50 add’l to get the Nook Tablet, pay another $20 for a good microSD card to put your own things on. So there’s $70. B&N does not have its own streaming video and music, strengths of Amazon, which now has 15,000 streaming videos at no added cost if you’re a Prime program member who gets free 2-day shipping on Amazon’s own items for $6.58 per month.
    (You also get one Prime Kindle book loan per calendar month, with no waiting periods or due dates.)

    But if what’s most important to you is external storage, you can get the 16G or 32G Kingston Wi-Drive, which can stream media to up to 3 devices simultaneously, so that families or friends can be watching 3 different videos from it *wirelessly* at the same time — or the same video at the same time (or one can be accessing documents for editing etc.).

    This external drive is the only one at this point that can also be accessed while you remain on the Net.

    It can also be charged while you’re accessing it with the included power adapter but the charging can’t be done via the USB port while you’re . accessing it and even then it would be too slow to charge. Otherwise, with 3 people using it at the same time, a battery-only session is only 3.5 hours avg.

    It’s thinner than an iPhone 4s and shorter than my Samsung Galaxy S2 cell phone. I stream media simulatenously to my S2 phone, to my Samsung 10.1″ Galaxy Tab and to my Kindle Fire (or to a Kindle Touch). The Wi-Drive acts as a WiFi server for your devices, but it can also access your WiFi router so that you can remain online. It works from one or two rooms away.

    The 16G version is $49 currently and the 32G version is $90.

    For more information on this, as well as how to convert video to work on Kindle Fire, see

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