Sep. 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM ET
Amazon is holding a press event at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT in Santa Monica, Calif. Thursday. During the event, which we will be covering live, the company is expected to unveil its latest Kindle Fire tablet, a new backlit e-ink reader, and perhaps even a smartphone. Here's what we think we might hear from Amazon today.
Odds are pretty darn great that we'll see a new Kindle Fire tablet, likely a new 7-inch version, as well as a new backlit e-ink Kindle, as the Verge's Bryan Bishop points out. After all, an Amazon commercial showing what appear to be those very devices aired during a football game on Wednesday evening. (See the embedded video, recorded from TV and posted to YouTube by TechRCcrp, below.)
We'll have to wait until later in the day to get the details, but right now it seems as if the new Kindle Fire tablets include front-facing cameras.
The new e-ink Kindle seems to be very similar to the current Kindle Touch, though with an altered bezel and no button below the display. It is expected to offer some sort of backlight feature to compete with Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. The Verge's sources suggest that it might be dubbed the "Paperwhite," a reference to the fact that previous e-ink screens, to the chagrin of users, were more black-on-gray than black-on-white.
There's also a chance we'll see a 10-inch version of the Kindle Fire, built to compete directly with the iPad, but the 10-inch rumors have been a bit more scarce on the ground, so we'd be surprised if one emerges at the event.
We've heard a lot of chatter about Amazon's smartphone plans lately and today we might just finally hear kernels of truth. According to Nilay Patel, "multiple sources have confirmed to the Verge that Amazon is working on a smartphone that runs a variant of the Kindle Fire's Android-based operating system." And what's more: This device may make an appearance during today's press event.
Keep your eyes peeled on this story for updates as we report live from Amazon's press event at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT today. In the meantime, have a look at this commercial, which aired last night, showing some hardware that may indeed be the two Kindle products unveiled today:
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