Amazon will launch a 9-inch Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, as well as a refreshed 7-inch model by the middle of this year, according to one analyst's forecast.

Chad Bartley of Pacific Crest has increased his Kindle Fire 2012 sales estimate from 12 million units to 14.9 miilion units, partly due to the expected new models.

"We are raising our 2012 sales forecasts to 14.9 million from 12.7 million," he wrote in a note to investors.

"But we believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7 and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012."

Let the real rivalry commence

A 9-inch Kindle Fire model would perhaps allow Amazon to take on larger tablets like the iPad, having already cornered the mid-sized market with its exceptionally-good-value, $199, 7-inch Android offering.

Despite selling an estimated six million Kindle Fire tablets during the holiday season alone, it is not seen as cutting into Apple's slice of the action as the company announced record iPad sales for the three months leading up to Christmas.

A 9-inch model, probably priced around $250, would give perhaps tablet buyers a little more food for thought before splurging on an iPad 3, which is expected to launch in about a month's time.

A new-and-improved 7-inch version of the Android tablet is likely to include many of the features Amazon left out first time around in order to get the first device out for Christmas.

Check out our Amazon Kindle Fire 2 rumour round-up for some indication of what we could see in any new models.

Via: AllThingsD