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Amazon Preparing a 10-Inch Kindle Fire to Take on the iPad?

Amazon Preparing a 10-Inch Kindle Fire to Take on the iPad?

We don’t typically cover news or rumors about Amazon’s products, but the latest report from DigiTimes (via Wired) was interesting enough to catch our eye. According to the report, Amazon is preparing to take on the iPad by launching a 10-inch version of their Kindle Fire tablet.

The latest market rumors indicate that Amazon is likely to launch a 10.1-inch Kindle Fire in the third quarter, while tentatively suspending the launch of a speculated 8.9-inch model. Amazon apparently plans to simplify its product lineup to focus its competition against Apple’s iPad, according to industry sources, who also added that the planned 8.9-inch model was originally to take on Samsung’s Galaxy Note tablets.

What makes this interesting is that, while Amazon is reportedly preparing a larger version of the Kindle Fire, Apple is widely rumored to be working on a smaller 7-inch version of the iPad! If both of these rumors are accurate, the companies are essentially jumping head first into each others’ territory, which makes for a bit of a strange situation.

The question then arises of what each company plans to gain. Amazon would be sacrificing the $200 price take and “take anywhere” portability of the Kindle Fire, while Apple would be sacrificing the power and real-estate of the iPad.

It seems to me that Apple has a great deal more to gain than Amazon in such a move. If Apple were able to produce a smaller and more affordable iPad, consumers would flock to the device like flies to a hog. But what does Amazon have to gain?

They’d be releasing a more expensive device that, aside from having a larger screen and an improved ability to view things like magazines and newspapers, seemingly wouldn’t offer anything all that compelling…and I’m not sure they’d be able to offer such a tablet cheaper than a refurbished iPad 2, which are currently available for $319.

Of course, DigiTimes does have quite a spotty track record, and nothing can be known until it’s confirmed by Apple and Amazon at any rate. But if it is true, the tablet race may soon become much more interesting…