Amazon to introduce ‘five or six’ new tablets, says Staples president

New Amazon tablets

Amazon is not messing around. The online retail giant will allegedly release five or six new tablet models, including one 10-inch version, according to Demos Parneros, president of retail for Staples, who spoke with Reuters. (Staples sells Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet.) Whether or not that “five or six SKUs” that Parneros is talking about means half a dozen wildly different devices, or just different storage sizes and connectivity options (Wi-Fi-only, 3G/4G), and only a small number of screen size options, we cannot say. But one thing is clear: Amazon sees its future in mobile.

We’ve been hearing rumors about a new Kindle Fire set to arrive sometime this summer. Some reports have even indicated that Amazon would unveil two new devices. But six new tablets, well, that’s new. We’ve even heard reports that Amazon plans to release a smartphone — and that could still be the case. After all, Amazon’s mobile strategy is not based upon making one superior device — the Kindle Fire is really just ‘good enough’ — it is to get a device in the hands of as many people as possible, people who will hopefully buy more stuff through Amazon.

Adding fuel to the Amazon smartphone fire is that fact that Amazon has gone on a hiring spree at its Lab126 research and design center, which is just down the road from Apple’s Cupertino, California, headquarters. According to Reuters, “seven” of the recent job postings at Lab126 have been for engineers with experience designing products that work on 3G and 4G networks. Two of those posts have been filled by Windows Phone engineers. Of course, this could all mean that Amazon is simply adding cellular connectivity to its tablets, which wouldn’t be much of a surprise either. At this point, we’d wager that they have both device types in the works.

Amazon’s current Kindle Fire offering is fairly stripped down: The $200 tablet only has 8GB of storage, includes no cameras, and is Wi-Fi-only. It also runs a heavily modified version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is made specifically for consuming digital content, like movies, books,and magazines, from Amazon’s online store. For a while, this was all fairly great deal. But with the recent release of the Google Nexus 7, the 8GB version of which also costs $200 and includes the latest version of Android (4.1 “Jelly Bean”) and does have a front-facing camera for video chat, the Kindle Fire is suddenly far from the best non-iPad tablet on the block.

Amazon has so far refused to comment on the new tablets rumor. However, the nature of this report is somewhat interesting. Unlike most device rumors, this one comes from a very prominent source: a high-level Staples executive who apparently agreed to have his name linked to the un-announced information. Given that Staples is an Amazon retail partner, it seems likely that Amazon knew Parneros planned to leak the information — it may have even requested he do as much.

All of this is just our own speculation, of course, but given the surging popularity Google’s new tablet, it doesn’t take a wild imagination to conceive that Amazon wants to steal some of the Nexus 7’s thunder.


Get the Surface Pro 6, with keyboard included, for $1,000 at Microsoft

Thinking of buying a Surface Pro 6? Microsoft is currently running a deal on its latest Windows 2-in-1, letting you bring one home for $1,000 with the keyboard included in the price.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks for the best portable chargers.

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?

Walmart to launch it’s own low-priced tablet, powered by Android 9.0 Pie

Walmart will soon launch its own low-cost, kid-friendly tablet, which will be powered by Android 9.0 Pie. The price and release date for the device are still unknown, but it will reportedly feature a MediaTek processor with 2 GB of RAM.

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.

Does this video show off the Huawei P30 Pro's impressive camera suite?

The Huawei P30 Pro will be announced on March 26. It has already started to leak ahead of this date, and expectations are high that the company will improve even further on the P20 Pro's camera.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.

Browse safely and securely with Opera’s unlimited VPN on Android

Opera has added a new VPN to its Android browser, offering an easy way to keep your privacy and data locked up solid, and with no limits on usage or cost, you can keep it on all the time.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.