Amazon.com, Inc. will release the first software update for the Kindle Fire tablet in the next two weeks, according to paidContent. The update will reportedly mend the device's multitouch navigation response and other performance issues as well as the list of options for recent activity on the tablet, one of the privacy concerns expressed by some users.
There is also speculation that Amazon may even release a new version of the device altogether by next spring; Amazon has not confirmed or denied this rumor. The Kindle Fire has received mixed reviews since its U.S.-only release on Nov. 15. On Amazon's site, nearly 2,300 users have given the tablet a five-star rating and over 1,600 have rated it three stars or lower.
Criticisms of the Kindle Fire have included a lack of external volume control, problems with the responsiveness of the touch interface, a poor reading experience compared to the Kindle, poor browsing, and not enough on-device storage for media files. Official sales statistics have not been released by the company, though projections estimate Amazon will ship 3.9 million units in Q4 2011.
If any company could propel an ebook-first publishing model, it is probably Amazon. With the popularity of the Kindle and the extensive information the company holds on its clients, Amazon is better positioned than most to push targeted ebooks to customers. The company even released a statement earlier this year showing that ebooks are outselling print books on Amazon.com. Despite this, Amazon is foraying further into the print publishing world.
If you pre-ordered a Kindle Fire, you better be sure to check your mailbox today. This morning Amazon announced that the new members of its Kindle family will ship to buyers early. The Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G will head out to early buyers beginning tomorrow, November 15, several days earlier than the previously announced November 21 shipping date. Perhaps more notably, the Kindle Fire will head out a day early. This comes on the heels of last week's "leaked" announcement that Barnes & Noble would be introducing the Nook Tablet and making it available in stores on November 17.