Amazon event invites spark new 10in tablet speculation

Top secret has sent out invitations to a September 6 press event near Los Angeles, re-igniting speculation about a slew of new tablet devices from the world's largest internet retailer.

Amazon did not reveal the nature of the coming announcement, but the event is being organised by the company's Kindle business, which is responsible for making its e-reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computers.

"There's been a lot of rumors about another potential Kindle tablet," said Pete Finalle, a tablet analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

Amazon plans to expand its mobile platform and broaden its offering of devices, developers and retail partners it was reported last month.

The company will introduce up to five or six tablet SKUs, or stock-keeping units, including a 10-inch model, according to Demos Parneros, president of US Retail for Staples, which sells existing Kindle devices.

Amazon launched its first tablet, the seven-inch Kindle Fire, in September 2011, its first foray into a market that is still dominated by Apple's iPad.

Since then, Google has launched a seven-inch tablet called Nexus 7, which has been selling well.

"The existing Kindle Fire is due for an update given Google's new tablet," Finalle said. "The hardware could use a refresh."

Apple is holding a major event on September 12, a source told Reuters recently, with the company expected to unveil its latest iPhone at that time.

There has been speculation for more than a year about a larger Amazon tablet that would compete directly with the iPad, with multiple blogs saying the device is code-named Hollywood.

"It might be beneficial for Amazon to have more than one tablet device in their repertoire," Finalle said. "Having a larger tablet that comes in at a lower price point than Apple's iPad would be particularly beneficial."


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