We’ve just been sent a shot of the next Kindle Fire, Amazon’s Android-based tablet that’s expected to be announced next week after the current model ”sold out” earlier today. We’re being told that a “pair” of Fires is likely — a 7- and a 10-incher — though it remains unclear whether both models will be introduced at the same time. We’re not sure which model we’re looking at here, but the scale of the keyboard suggests that seven inches is more likely.
We’ve seen one additional image of the new model, which we have been asked not to publish; it shows a streamlined user interface with less “chrome.” It’s unclear whether this refined UI will make it to the production model.
While the original Fire was widely known to be based on the same OMAP4 reference design as RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, the new model appears to be a custom design (or at least a reference design that we’re not familiar with). That’s not to say it’s any more visually interesting — it’s still just a plain, simple, black box. We weren’t provided with any shots of the back, so we don’t know whether there’s a primary camera; there’s no sign that Amazon is shifting its strategy of making the Fire an extraordinarily affordable tablet, though, so we’d expect them to be trimming costs wherever they can (just as Google did with the Nexus 7).
Stay tuned — more on this as we have it.
Update: Though we know that this image originates with Amazon, another source adds the following:
“That picture you guys posted is not the new Kindle Fire. I know because I have held the new Kindle Fire in my hand and played with it for extensive periods of time… the bezel on the new Kindle Fire is wider. It has sloping sides like the old Motorola Xoom, so it sits nicely in the hand.”
Whether the picture above is an unfinished prototype of the new model or one of several devices that will debut next week, we don’t know yet, but we can confirm that it’s authentic and is part of a larger set of images depicting a new Kindle device.