You’ve got to love the internet rumour mill: when a big-name device ships without any of the features the rumour-mongers predicted, the response is always the same: “Yeah, but we meant the next version!”
It’s no surprise, then, that while the Kindle Fire has only been shipping for a few hours the internet is already speculating about its successor – a successor which will, inevitably, include some of the things the first Kindle Fire didn’t.
So what do we actually know?
Kindle Fire 2 release date
The Kindle Fire 2 is set to land in spring 2012, according to DigiTimes, which reported that Quanta Computer has already been given the order to start producing the new device.
The Kindle Fire 2 screen will be bigger
The Telegraph – and many others – predicts a Kindle Fire 2 / iPad 3 summertime tablet fight-fest based entirely on a single post by the not-always-that-accurate DigiTimes, which says that the Kindle Fire 2 will have an 8.9-inch touch screen and will begin manufacturing in the first quarter of 2012.
That may well be true, but Digitimes also reports that the Kindle Fire 2 screen will be 9.7 inches, or maybe 10.1 inches. Perhaps the Kindle Fire 2 is made from potatoes and powered by clockwork elves.
The Kindle Fire 2 processor is a quad-core Tegra
That’s what Boy Genius Report predicted back in May, anyway: Amazon was “planning on releasing at least two before the end of the year… the big boy? That’s codenamed ‘Hollywood’ and will be based on the NVIDIA T30 ‘Kal-El’ which will bring a screaming quad-core processor with a 500% performance increase”.
That would come in handy, as some reviews have pointed out that the current Fire is a bit slow, but if it’s coming there’s no way you’re getting it for $200. Amazon may be losing money on every Kindle Fire, but there’s losing money and there’s losing enormous amounts of money.
The Kindle Fire 2 is the real Kindle Fire
Speaking to Gdgt, a “source” claimed that the Kindle Fire 2 is the tablet Amazon really wanted to make, but couldn’t get out in time for the pre-Christmas shopping period.
The Kindle Fire 2 operating system is Android, sort of
As with the first Fire, the Kindle Fire 2 should run Amazon’s own fork of Android, which adds a nifty interface to Google’s OS. Expect integration with the Amazon app store and services rather than Android market and Google books.
The Kindle Fire 2 display won’t be a hybrid
A hybrid e-ink/LCD screen is one for our Kindle Fire 2 wish list, although we don’t expect to see it on the next Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire 2 specifications might include some missing features
There are some obvious omissions from the current Kindle Fire – GPS, a microphone, cameras – but we’re not sure the Kindle Fire 2 needs them: if it wants to be an iPad rival then yes, such things are important, but they’re not necessarily deal-breakers for sofa surfing.
The Kindle Fire 2 name probably won’t be Kindle Fire 2
If a launch is imminent, Amazon won’t want to annoy existing Kindle Fire customers by suggesting their shiny new tablet is already obsolete. It’ll be called something different, such as Kindle Burny. OK, probably not Burny.