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SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (
Amazon(AMZN - Get Report) is hosting a huge press conference in Santa Monica, Calif. on Thursday, and all signs point to the online retailer announcing a new version of its Kindle Fire.
Undoubtedly, this will be an
important event, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos set to unveil the company's latest and greatest product. Up to now, however, there's been little in the way of leaks and details about the announcement.
Some have speculated that Amazon will announce its entry into the smartphone market as it continues to move into the consumer electronics space to take on both
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) and
Google(GOOG - Get Report), but this event may be too soon for that kind of announcement. It's more likely to be Kindle-related, given that Amazon has historically announced its new Kindles around this time of year, and the company recently announced it's adding more content to its Amazon Prime library.
Perhaps the location of the event provides some hints about today's news. On Tuesday, Amazon and
Epix announced a deal that will double Amazon's library of movies, including titles such as
Iron Man 2 and
The Hunger Games from Epix's studio partners. Perhaps another deal like this is in the pipeline to bring more content to Amazon's audience.
The Kindle Fire currently comes in a 7-inch model, but there's been speculation that the next version could be larger, perhaps a 10-inch offering to truly compete with the iPad. Apple held 68.2% of the tablet market at the end of the second quarter, according to tech research firm
IDC. Amazon held 5%, behind
Samsung, which owned 9.6% of the market.
While many loved the $199 price point of the original Kindle Fire, there were also
complaints about the tablet's feature set. Gripes included buggy software, difficult Internet browsing, and a lack of features compared to the iPad.
There has been chatter that the new Kindle Fire may feature a front-facing camera, whereas the current version features no camera. It may also offer an HDMI slot to easily plug it into your television. It could also feature a higher-resolution screen, given the success Apple has had with its Retina Display screens on both the iPhone, as well as the iPad.
No matter what the new Kindle Fire has in it, looks like, or who Amazon works with, one thing is certain. It's bound to have everyone's attention.
That's until all eyes shift to Apple next week.
TheStreet will be live-blogging the Amazon press event, starting at 1PM ET:
Interested in more on Amazon? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for
Written by Chris Ciaccia in Santa Monica