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Tablet Wars: As Apple Goes Small, Amazon Goes Big?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- E-commerce king Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) has always been a name that I've wanted to fall in love with but just couldn't. The stock has always been too expensive for my taste. But that's as far as the negativity goes.

Whenever I look at Amazon, I appreciate how hard it is for any company to maintain its bellwether status in one sector -- let alone two. I suppose one can say it is getting its deserved respect since its valuation is already high.

Be that as it may, Amazon seems to get moved to the backburner when discussing rivals such as Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Google (GOOG - Get Report). At one point, this wasn't so bad except now it appears that it has fallen to fourth on the depth chart when the technology discussions also involve Facebook (FB). But as it stands, that may only be temporary.

On the heels of increased speculation surrounding Apple and the possibility of an 7-inch iPad that might be released this fall, there are now rumors that Amazon may opt to go in the opposite direction by producing a larger version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet.

A recent story posted on CNET suggested Amazon is considering releasing two separate versions -- a 7-inch, which according to reports is to be ready for a July 31 launch, and a 10-inch rumored to be announced late next month.

Amazon has yet to confirm either of these reports, but if true, it seems the company is not only intent on fighting back, but in the process it wants to steal some of the limelight off its rivals -- especially Google who's Nexus 7 tablet is said to be a direct competitor to the Kindle Fire.

Amazon's current Kindle Fire version is one of the top-selling tablets on the market. It serves as one of the only legitimate threats to Apple's top-selling iPad, along with Samsung's Galaxy tablet. Now, in addition to Google, Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) has recently announced tablet plans of its own called Surface.

While the current Kindle Fire is priced attractively at $199 -- making it appealing for those outside of the iPad market -- I am curious to see how it chooses to price both sizes of its new iterations. Google clearly sees the advantage in staying out of the Apple market as it has also priced its Nexus 7 at $199 while Microsoft has not yet announced either the Surface price or the date of the launch.
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