Kindle Fire HDX Rumors: Which were true and which were false?
Below are all the rumors we reported in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the debut of the Kindle Fire HDX on Sept. 25, 2013.
Three models expected (FALSE)
Two models were announced. The Kindle Fire HD was reduced in price to $140.
Amazon’s current Kindle line-up consists of three devices, the Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. According to a report from BGR, this will continue with the 2013 models, and while the screen sizes will likely remain the same, the internal specs will receive a considerable overhaul.
A report on Taiwan’s UDN.com also states we’re to expect three new Kindle Fire tablets, and that all could have metal casings and will be built by Taiwanese manufacturer Compal Electronics. Compal apparently started receiving orders for a 7-inch Amazon tablet back in March, and at the time it was estimated the firm would start shipping them between July and September this year.
New ‘chiseled’ design (TRUE)
The anonymous sources speaking to BGR say the new Kindle Fire HD models will take on a more angular and, “Chiseled” look than the current, rounded designs. Sony relaunched its tablet range with the Xperia Tablet Z recently, and its sharp, monolithic style really makes it standout, so we’re excited for Amazon’s new models, which may look something like this. BGR has also published a full gallery of pictures showing what appears to be the new 7-inch Fire HD.
What could be a new Kindle Fire has also shown up in a press-style glamor shot via the @evleaks Twitter account. Said to be, “Another upcoming Kindle,” it shows the tablet is still running Amazon’s version of the Android OS, plus it has the usual (massive) bezel around what we presume to be a 7-inch display, but there is no front facing camera lens visible.
Is this just an oversight in the image, or are we looking at another, cheaper Kindle Fire? There has been plenty of buzz about a $100 Kindle Fire in the past, and although it was brushed off as impossible back then, times may have changed enough to make it possible now. In the UK, Amazon has just dropped the price of the basic 7-inch, 1024 x 600 Kindle Fire to £100 from £130, indicating it’s coming to the end of its life, while the model has disappeared from Amazon.com’s website already.
Kindle Fire 7-inch rumors (FALSE)
The new basic Kindle Fire model is rumored to retain its 7-inch screen size, but increase the resolution to 1280 x 800 pixels, bringing it up to the outgoing Nexus 7 (2012) and this year’s Kindle Fire HD. Inside will be another Texas Instruments OMAP processor, despite TI’s decision to no longer manufacture mobile chips, and if the reports are correct it’ll be the 1.5GHz, dual-core OMAP4 4470. This is the same model used in the Fire HD 8.9, and a big jump from the 1.2GHz OMAP4 4430 used in the existing Fire.
We can expect the RAM to be doubled to 2GB, and for Android 4.2.2 to be installed; not that you’ll recognize it. Amazon is sure to cover Google’s OS up with its own user interface. According to BGR.com, the 8GB Fire will keep its competitive $160 price tag, but will also be joined by a 16GB and 32GB version.
Kindle Fire HDX Rumors (TRUE)
The Fire HD is the first of Amazon’s upper-range tablets and, like it’s cheaper sister model, it has a 7-inch screen which isn’t expected to change for the second-gen machine. The resolution may be upped to 1920 x 1200 pixels though, which will again see it compete with the new Nexus 7.
Like Google, Amazon is likely to change its processor supplier, ditching Texas Instruments for Qualcomm and its Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip. That’s right, the Kindle Fire HD may be powered by the same chip as the LG G2 and the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Google’s latest Nexus 7 uses the still excellent Snapdragon S4 Pro, running at 1.5GHz.
Again, 2GB of RAM is probably going to accompany the Snapdragon 800, plus a front facing camera, Wi-Fi, cellular LTE connectivity, and Android 4.2.2 are also expected to feature.
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 coming (TRUE)
As the new Kindle Fire HD may take on the 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution which headlines the current Fire HD 8.9’s spec sheet, there’s a chance Amazon may boost the larger screen’s resolution to 2560 x 1600. This pixel count is the same as the Samsung-produced Nexus 10.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor should be used to power the largest Kindle Fire tablet too, along with the same 2GB of RAM and various connectivity options.
2014 Kindle Fire Processor Swap (FALSE)
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors are in the new 2013 models.)
According to a report by DigiTimes, processor manufacturer MediaTek has won the contract to supply Amazon with quad-core processors for its 2014 Kindle Fire tablet. As noted above, Texas Instruments has moved on from mobile chips, forcing Amazon to make a change. While Qualcomm is an excellent choice for the more expensive models, MediaTek’s competitive pricing should see the Fire maintain its bargain status, should the report turn out to be accurate.
Debuting in September (TRUE)
When they do arrive, it’ll be interesting to see if Amazon chooses to stagger the rollout of the new models again. Kindle fans wanting the Fire HD 8.9 in the UK and Europe had to wait several months before the range-topping model was available in their stores, and as Amazon has increased the amount of regions in which the Fire HD is on sale throughout the year, those outside the US may need to have patience before getting their hands on a new model.
As always, it’s worth remembering all the details listed here are unconfirmed rumors and speculation, and the official devices may have completely different spec lists when they’re revealed. We’ll keep you updated in the run up to the launch of this year’s much-anticipated Kindle Fire tablet range.
Updated on 9-11-2013 by Jeffrey Van Camp: Added in some new leaked shots of the new Kindle Fire HD.
Originally published on 8-12-2013 by Andy Boxall.