We've known about the approach of the second-generation Kindle Fire tablet for months, but we didn't have a clear launch date until a week ago, assuming there was any truth to the report that provided it.
Going by even more recent leaks on the matter, the ETA discovered in the last days of June (2012) was incorrect.
It is also possible that Amazon changed its plans in the meantime, but there is no proof to support either assumption. At any rate, they aren't really relevant either.
For those who missed it, Fudzilla said
that the second-generation Kindle Fire tablet would be formally launched on July 31 (2012). Now, China Times says that Amazon chose August 7 as the big day.
There could be a way to reconcile the two dates. Assuming Amazon sees any point in further preparing its customers, it might formally introduce the tablet on July 31 and leave August 7 as the day when shipments begin.
Around 2 million models will be part of the first wave of shipments, according to the report, all of them made by Quanta.
It is unclear if Amazon expects a rapid sellout or if it holds some more laidback expectations regarding customer demand.
If we were to place a bet, we'd bank on the latter. Regardless of how much better the Kindle Fire 2 is compared to the first one, the existing Fire is already decent at what it is meant to do. Some people might upgrade, but most of the interest will come from customers who don't yet own a slate.
On that note, the Kindle Fire currently sells for $149 / 118 Euro, so
the Kindle Fire 2 will probably require a payment of $199 / 160 Euro.
The only design element so far disclosed is the metal chassis (right now, Amazon uses plastic). Guesswork adds Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (or better) to the list, along with an ARM CPU of some sort, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, (micro) HDMI (most likely), 16 / 32 GB of storage (NAND Flash chips), RAM (1 or 2 GB), USB, audio, etc.