Amazon tipped to refresh Kindle line-up and unveil smartphone


Amazon is expected to unveil a raft of new devices later today, including e-readers, tablets and even an Android smartphone.

The retailer is thought to be launching a Kindle e-reader with a backlit screen and up to eight weeks of battery life at an event in LA at around 6pm(GMT).

Second generation models of its popular Kindle Fire tablet are also expected to be introduced. A beefed up model could feature NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 chipset, and Amazon is tipped to increase screen size from 7ins to 10ins.

Meanwhile, a basic model of the Kindle Fire 2 is expected to be priced competitively and could undercut the Google Nexus 7, which starts at 159.

Surprisingly, The Verge is reporting that Amazon has also been working on a smartphone, which could be a surprise new addition to its product line-up.

No confirmed specifications have been released, but the the device is expected to run a skinned version of Android, like the firm's Kindle Fire devices.

It remains to be seen whether Amazon is able to replicate the content-centric business model it has used in the tablet market to the smartphone space.

The handset market is dominated by Apple and Samsung devices, which come with a wealth of features, thanks to iOS and Android. Nokia is also making a move, with its Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920 shaping up to be a capable device.

Amazon's offering is likely to be suited to those who want to consume multimedia, which means it might not be ideal for business users.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.