Amazon to Debut New Kindle Fire, E-Readers

Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Amazon is holding an event Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., where the Seattle-based company is expected to launch its new Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablet.  An ad, which aired Wednesday night, showed the new Kindle e-reader and new Fire.

Late last week, Amazon announced that it was sold out of the Kindle Fire.  In other words, it stopped making the popular tablet because a new one was on the way.

"Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead.  We will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability and the best content ecosystem," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement last week.

Amazon's Kindle Fire became one of the world's best-selling tablets last year.  It runs a version of Android that has been revamped by Amazon to be centered on media consumption, including the books, music, and video services Amazon sells.  The next version of the Fire has been rumored to have a faster processor and an updated design. There have also been rumors that Amazon might release a larger 10-inch tablet this week.

The Kindle Fire spurred a new market of affordable, 7-inch tablets. Google, in partnership with Asus, released the Nexus 7 in June for $199, and it quickly became popular. Apple is also rumored to be planning a smaller version of the iPad -- the so-called iPad Mini -- in October.  But other companies, such as Sony, have said they don't plan to play in this lower-end space.

Amazon is also expected to update its Kindle e-readers to compete with Barnes & Noble's Nook With Glowlight.  The technology site The Verge reported that a new Kindle with a "Paper White" display was coming and it was shown in the TV ad that aired on Wednesday.

The location of Amazon's event has also been the stuff of rumor.  While the company usually holds its annual event in New York City, it is holding Thursday's event near Hollywood.  

Many believe Amazon will announce new partnerships with studios and talk more about video content.  Others think Amazon could release a set-top box for your TV, similar to Apple's TV or the Roku box, that would be centered on streaming video.  Others have said Amazon might use the event to launch a phone.

Either way, we will find out soon enough -- the event begins at 10:30 a.m. PT.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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