Amazon's Kindle Fire: Can it save 7-inch tablets?

If Amazon can make a go of the Kindle Fire perhaps 7-inch tablets will stick around. If not, the 7-inch tablet is toast.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

In the tablet world, 7-inch screens are tweeners that users have little use for. If Amazon's Kindle Fire doesn't make 7-inch tablets stick nothing will.

Let's face it: The 7-inch screen is a bit confusing. It's not big enough for a full screen browsing experience and small enough to not be all that much different than some smartphones with 4-inch screens.

It's a tweener. Sure, some folks like a smaller form factor, but Samsung's 7-inch

Galaxy Tab isn't exactly lighting up the sales charts. RIM's PlayBook is increasingly looking like a disaster. When you walk into Best Buy the corner with the 7-inch tablets looks a bit deserted. Perhaps Amazon's $199 price tag will reinvigorate demand for 7-inch tablets.

Photos: Amazon's three new Kindles

Amazon's 2011 Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G (hands-on photos)

Amazon Kindle Fire photos

Amazon's mission is to save the 7-inch tablet category. If Amazon can make a go of the Kindle Fire perhaps 7-inch tablets will stick around. But if Amazon launches a 10-inch Kindle Fire and sales of the smaller version tank it's safe say that 7-inch tablets are going to face extinction.

In other words, there's an inflection point for 7-inch tablets. Amazon will have a lot to do with which way this form factor goes.

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