September 04, 2012, 8:30 AM — We've only got two more days to spend speculating about what Amazon is going to show us at its Kindle dog and pony show on Thursday. I'm actually a bit impressed at how much buzz there is around this event; granted it's nowhere near the level of interest generated by any and every Apple event but what is? Take Apple out of the equation and this Thursday's Amazon press conference is one of the most talked about reveals this year.
Anyway, let's get back to slogging through the rumors. The last time we talked there was a question of whether or not Amazon would be introducing a 10" tablet. According to the hive mind, the answer to that is no, at least not yet.
Instead, there will be not one but two new 7" Kindle Fire models at the event. One of them is a faster, slimmer, sleeker, sexier Kindle Fire. How much faster, slimmer and sleeker isn't clear, but it's supposed to have a camera and an HDMI port, plus a faster processor of course. Essentially it's the next generation Kindle Fire and it'll once again cost $199. This is pretty much the device that everyone has been expecting since Amazon sent out the invites.
The other new device is the equivalent of the last generation Kindle Fire (though hopefully a bit thinner and lighter). This one will be ad-supported. Essentially it's the Kindle Fire version of Kindle with Offers. Apparently every time you wake the thing up you see an ad, but once its awake you'll get no further ads. The price isn't known but I'm guessing it'll come in at $99 or $129. The Wall Street Journal has more details on the ad-supported Fire.
The event isn't just about the Kindle Fires though. According to The Verge Amazon will also be introducing a new iteration of the Kindle Touch. This one has integrated lighting and a new "paperwhite" display. No pricing has leaked.
So it sounds like Amazon is still focused on competing with Google and Barnes & Noble and isn't ready to go head to head with the iPad yet. Though of course Apple might be about ready to enter the 7-8" tablet battleground itself next month.
It'll be interesting to see if the new Kindle Fire can steal some of the Nexus 7's thunder. In the meantime, rumors from the other side of the battlelines suggest that we could see a 3G-equipped Nexus 7 by October, though it isn't clear if this new model is in reaction to Amazon or if the timing is just coincidental.
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