The ecommerce giant has a media event scheduled for next Thursday, September 6 in Santa Monica, Calif. where it’s expected to release a successor to its $199 Kindle Fire Android tablet and possibly other tablets as well.
Ahead of the event, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Kindle Fire had “sold out” and added “but we have an exciting road map ahead.”
One product on that road map that could be announced Thursday is an ad-supported tablet. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today that Amazon has such a tablet in the works that would be priced lower than other models without the ad support. But there were no details on what the ad-subsidized tablet will cost.
The tablet would show an ad every time the user "wakes" the device, according to an unnamed source in the Journal story, and would be WiFi only.
In any case, the ad-supported model may well be only one of several announcements from Amazon. In addition to an improved “Kindle 2” Amazon could show off another model with a bigger display than the Kindle Fire’s 7-inch screen.
And tech site The Verge reports Amazon has a new Kindle Touch on tap featuring a “Paperwhite” display.
“From the images we have, it looks like Amazon will be touting the unit with ‘higher contrast, high resolution, integrated lighting, and eight weeks of battery life,’ even when using the light," according to The Verge.
While the Kindle Fire has been a best-seller for Amazon, the statement that it “sold out” likely has less to do with demand than a move by the company to ramp down production to make way for new models. Some retailers are discounting remaining inventory such as Best Buy which is offering the Kindle Fire for $179 at its online site.