Amazon expected to announce Kindle Fire 2, smartphone, "Paperwhite" e-reader


(CBS News) Amazon is expected to announce several new products at a press conference Thursday in Los Angeles. Among the retail giant's lineup may be a Kindle Fire 2, smartphone and a new "Paperwhite" Kindle e-reader.

The new Kindle Fire 2 may feature a custom version of Google's mobile operating system Android, Nokia Navigation and location-services - either with a GPS chip or Wi-Fi triangulation.

According to The Verge, multiple sources have confirmed that Amazon will launch an Android-based smartphone. This will be the company's first foray into the smartphone market. There are currently no details on pricing and availability.

Amazon is also widely expected to launch a backlit version of its Kindle e-reader with a "Paperwhite" display, which may feature a high-resolution display with integrated lighting and higher contrast.

Offering both a tablet and smartphone puts Amazon in direct competition with tech heavyweights Apple and Google. The Kindle Fire launched in September 2011. At the time there were few contenders in the 7-inch tablet market. All of that has changed over the last year.

Soon after The Kindle Fire was launched, Barnes & Noble released the Nook Tablet, which retailed at $249. Google's Nexus 7 tablet was announced in June and retails for $199. Rumors have also circulated that Apple may release a 7-inch iPad mini in a similar price range.

Amazon's tablet is widely considered a success. Last month, Amazon announced that theKindle Fire has sold out. The company did not specify how many Kindle Fires have been sold, but said it made up 22 percent of the U.S. tablet sales in a nine month period.

Amazon's press event is schedule to start at 10:30 a.m. PT. CBS News' sister site CNET will live blog the event.