This afternoon Amazon is holding a media event, where it is expected to introduce a line of new gadgetry, including an updated Kindle Fire. There are few things we know for certain: Amazon is having a press conference; it will take place at 10:30 a.m. PST; it will happen in Santa Monica, which is close to Hollywood. That's as much as we get from the invitation. But because of our trusty rumor mill, which unlike Apple, Amazon sometimes feeds, we can make some educated guesses about the specifics of these new toys we will get to see today.
An Updated 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire: Very Likely
Many sources have told many news outlets that this is happening. Those updates will be thinner, lighter, and include a camera and better display, that will make things "sharper and more vibrant," says AllThingsD John Paczkowski. He also presumes the tablet will house a faster chip, improved graphics, and an updated operating system. The Verge has two separate photos of what they believe are either prototypes or the finished product.
These rumor seems almost for certain not just because of the leaks, but last week, exactly seven days ahead of this event, Amazon's original Kindle Fire sold out, which many speculated meant that the company was adjusting its stock for a new Kindle in town. Also, this refresh follows Amazon's past behaviors with the Kindle, which Amazon updated on a regular basis to keep competitive. Now that Google has a low-priced (better reviewed) Nexus 7 and with iPad Mini rumors circulating, it makes sense that Amazon would put out a better version of its original "iPad killer."
A 10-inch Amazon Kindle Fire: Possible, Just Not Today
This is one of those rumors that people convince themselves makes sense, but is not at all substantiated. Amazon could make a 10-inch Kindle Fire to better compete with the iPad, they say. But, there hasn't been much else besides that logic to make this thing happen. In face, AllThingsD's Tricia Duyree has sources telling her that "it is most definitely not a done deal," she wrote. "Even though a larger cousin of the seven-inch Kindle Fire is definitely in the works, it’s not clear if Amazon is ready to roll one out quite yet," she continues, going off of what sources told her. It sounds more like a long-term plan than something we will see at today's event. Though, Phonearena claims they saw it in a new commercial that aired during last night's NFL kickoff.
A Cheaper 7-Inch Amazon Kindle Fire: Very Likely
Amazon got undercut by Google, which offered a better version of their Kindle Fire for the same price. So it's time for Amazon to win back its cheapest-tablet-around crown by refreshing and then lowering the price of the o.g. Kindle Fire. CNET has its sources saying we will see two new Kindle Fire models, one of which will be the better one we mentioned above and the other this barer bones one. There's not much word on the price yet, but Duyree has confirmation that it won't be free, with Kindle Director Jay Marine saying "the economics don’t work" to just give the device away.
Backlit Kindles and Other Kindle Updates: Almost Definitely
In the e-reader department, Amazon should announce this "Paperwhite" backlit Kindle Touch that the Verge got its hands on, which will compete with a similar Nook device that came out earlier this year. AllThingsD also talks this up like a sure thing. Plus, the commercial during last night's NFL debut showed what looked like a backlit Kindle of sorts. We're also expecting other Kindle updates. Like the Kindle Fire, Amazon sold out of its 3G Kindle Touch and had a shipping delay for its WiFi model, which lead us to believe that it's going to replace those with something newer and better.
Amazon Phone: Not Impossible, But Not Probable
An Amazon phone rumor has been circulating for months and now the Verge's Nilay Patel has several sources confirming that the device exists. But the idea that it will debut today is less certain, with Patel "hearing" that it will make an appearance at the event. It doesn't sound like the phone is finished, so even if Amazon mentions it, we won't get to buy one as soon as these other things.
A TV Thingy: Total Speculation
Since the event is near Hollywood, AllThingsD's Peter Kafka has suggested that maybe, possibly Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will give us some sort of "big Hollywood plans." But, he doesn't sound convinced. "Lots of Hollywood folks I’ve talked to are in the dark about those purported plans. And just because a big tech company holds an event in LA doesn’t mean it is holding a Hollywood event," he writes. Yet, he guesses we might see a "video box for the living room." GigaOm's Janko Roettgers also has similar unsubstantiated ideas. It would be a fun surprise, but considering Amazon hasn't been too careful with its leaks, we don't see it happening.
Of course, all of these rumors will become reality (or not) at the event, which begins at 1:30 EST. We'll have live coverage once it begins.