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Amazon, Motorola, Nokia to battle Apple with tech announcements

Christina DesMarais | Sept. 4, 2012
Tech watchers buckle your seat belts. The first week in September is going to be a wild ride as Nokia, Motorola and Amazon introduce new devices just before Apple is expected to unveil its next generation iPhone on Sept. 12.


On Sept. 6 Amazon has scheduled an event in Santa Monica, Calif., during which it is expected to give a first look at new iterations of its Kindle Fire tablet. According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will announce an ad-supported Kindle Fire that "would display an ad after the user 'wakes the gadget." Such a device would presumably be cheaper than an ad-free version, similar to how last year Amazon positioned its inexpensive Kindle with Special Offers for $114 instead of $139 for the standard version.In addition, CNET reports that Amazon will take the wraps off two new 7-inch Kindle Fire models, according to "a person who has seen the products." This individual says the company will announce a brand new Kindle Fire as well as a slightly improved version of the original. The rumor follows up on Amazon's announcement earlier this week that the original Kindle Fire was "sold out."While rumors that Amazon was working on a larger iPad-sized version of its tablet may still be true, the latest word is such a device won't show up at Tuesday's news event.Amazon claims the Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales, numbering in the "millions." Indeed, consumers gobbled it up when it debuted during last year's holiday season for only $199.


Since then, however, competition in the tablet market has heated up considerably. Amazon now has to contend with Google's Nexus 7 running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, which sold out of stores and marketplaces almost immediately after it started shipping in July.And then there's Apple, which is expected to unveil a new smaller tablet that certainly will make things tougher for other 7-inchers already in the market. Even if Apple doesn't cave to pricing pressures from the many tablet manufacturers selling them for $199, it's still likely to be a huge hit because of Apple's large fan base and well-established history of bringing top-notch products to market.[See more: Google Nexus 7 and $199 Tablet Alternatives]As a possible example of how the Apple Mini might be better than competitors' products, recent rumors suggest the smaller iPad would not have the same aspect ratio as the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7, but one that's more like the iPad. If true, the iPad Mini's display would be as tall as the current iPad's width,assuming the display size is be between 7 and 8 inches.To maintain the same aspect ratio as the larger iPad, the iPad Mini would have a 7.85-inch screen diagonally, with a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels. As a result, the smaller iPad would have almost 40 percent more screen territory than 7-inch tablets like the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire.Will Apple unveil the iPad Mini on Sept. 12? Maybe not. Tech blogger John Gruber recently opined that Apple will release the next generation iPhone on Sept. 12, but wait several weeks before taking the wraps off of the highly anticipated iPad Mini.Stay tuned. PCWorld will attend Nokia, Motorola, and Amazon events next week, as well as the expected Apple event on Sept. 12.



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