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Amazon gearing up to launch 10-inch Kindle Fire in Q2 2012 - report

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Amazon plans to expand its Kindle lineup and more directly take on Apple's iPad with a new 10-inch Kindle Fire tablet set to launch in the second quarter of this year, according to a new report.

Amazon has begun placing orders for the new, larger Kindle Fire ahead of its launch in the coming months, DigiTimes reported on Monday. Foxconn is said to have earned original design manufacturer orders, ousting Quanta Computer and Inventec, which are current ODMs for the 7-inch Kindle Fire.

In a separate report, the publication also said that Amazon has also ordered color e-ink displays for a new 6-inch Kindle model. The new color screens from E-Ink Holdings are expected to begin shipping in March.

After launching at an aggressive $199 price point last year, the Kindle Fire is estimated by IHS iSuppli to have sold 3.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Another, more aggressive estimate from investment bank Stifel Nicolaus pegged sales at 6 million.

Either of those numbers likely outpaced the vast majority of the touchscreen tablet market. However, the estimates are also well behind the 15 million iPads Apple sold last quarter.

While Apple publicly reveals its iPad sales, Amazon has not given any specific sales figures for its Kindle lineup. The online retailer has said that its collective Kindle lineup was selling more than a million units per week leading up to Christmas, but wouldn't provide any concrete data.

One report from last month indicated that Amazon was already planning to cut orders in half for the 7-inch Kindle Fire at the start of 2012. The company was said to be planning for slower post-holiday sales, as well as the anticipated launch of Apple's third-generation iPad.