Amazon and Apple set for tablet war next spring

New versions of the Kindle Fire and iPad could launch at the same time

LAST UPDATED AT 12:28 ON Tue 22 Nov 2011

APPLE and Amazon could embark on a tablet war next spring when updated versions iPad and Kindle Fire are set to hit the shops, opening a new battle front for Apple, which is already slugging it out with Google in the mobile phone market.

Industry sources in Taiwan say that the next generation of Amazon's device, featuring an 8.9-inch screen, will begin production early next year. It will be built by manufacturing giant Foxconn, which is currently producing the seven-inch version of the Kindle Fire.
 
Also next year Apple is expected to unveil its third-generation iPad. Last week industry blog iLounge reported that it was being scheduled for a March release. The iPad 3 is expected to be marginally thicker than the current models to incorporate a new light system for a higher resolution display.
 
The Daily Telegraph says that if the two devices come out at the same time it will be an "intriguing head-to-head clash".

Kindle Fire, not yet available in the UK, is regarded as the most credible challenger to the iPad yet. It was launched in the US last week and runs a version of Google's Android operating system. The launch model only features a seven-inch screen and has been criticised in some quarters for lacking polish, but it costs just $199, half the price of an iPad.
 
The second generation version will have a much larger display, making it even closer to the iPad.
 
The Daily Mail suggests that Apple may even have brought forward the launch date of the new iPad to avoid a confontation. · 

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