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Analyst: Amazon is poised to roll out new 7- and 9-inch versions of the tablet by mid 2012


by Trent Nouveau, TG

Amazon’s wildly popular $200 Kindle Fire tablet is getting about as much traction as the original iPad.

Analyst Jordan Rohan recently estimated that 6 million Kindle Fire tablets have been sold, which puts the device right on par with the rate of sales of Apple’s first iPad.

What's next for Amazon's Kindle Fire???“Amazon’s device proliferation strategy has broader implications than most appreciate. [For example], tablets including iPad and Kindle Fire are rapidly taking share from PCs and notebooks,” Rohan explained in January.

“The Kindle Fire has [successfully] staked out an important market position due to its loyal Amazon customer base and attractive device pricing.”

Clearly, at a very reasonable $200 price point, the Kindle Fire is an impulse purchase. Yes, for the first time, there is actually an affordable tablet that capable of delivering on content and performance.

So, what’s next for Amazon’s Kindle Fire?

Well, Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley believes Amazon is poised to roll out new 7- and 9-inch versions of the tablet by mid 2012. ??Bartley also raised his Fire sales estimate to 14.9 million from 12.7 million – based on the assumption that new Fire tablets will be hitting Amazon’s virtual shelves sometime this year.

Although Amazon has yet to confirm the new tablets, a 9-inch form factor certainly makes sense for those interested in more of an iPad like experience, at least in terms of screen size.

Of course, it’s probably fairly safe to assume that Amazon will manage to keep its new Kindle competitively priced even with more advanced specs (perhaps a camera, faster processor, more storage capacity and 3G capabilities?), as sticker difference is clearly the online retailer’s most significant advantage over Apple’s rival iPad.