The Amazon tablet rumors are starting to conflict. The latest claims the online retailer will launch models as soon as August 2011 or September 2011, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers cited by DigiTimes. The justification for this particular timing is Amazon's desire to meet the peak sales period prior to Thanksgiving in the US as well as the year-end holiday season in the US and Europe.
The rumor also claims Amazon will use processors developed by Texas Instruments, Taiwan-based Wintek's touch panels, and ILI Technology's LCD driver ICs. Quanta Computer will be responsible for assembly. Monthly shipments are expected to be 700,000-800,000 units (we first heard this number last month, when it was suggested that the Amazon tablet had entered production), and Amazon will reportedly provide streaming movie services for users of its tablets (this is new).
The manufacturer details of this latest rumor are very different when compared to a different rumor from last month that talked about two tablets before the end of 2011: an entry-level tablet codenamed Coyote (based on the dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 platform) and a second tablet codenamed Hollywood (based on the quad-core Nvidia codename Kal-El platform, which is likely to be called Tegra 3). Other specifications, such as screen sizes, are still unknown.
The rumor that Amazon is looking to build a tablet has been around for a while but it started to gain steam two months ago, when it was suggested that Samsung would build an Android tablet for the online retailer. Amazon's president and CEO Jeff Bezos has noted that a potential Amazon tablet would be more likely to supplement than to supplant the Kindle, and that while tablet computers seem to be gaining in popularity, this doesn't necessarily mean the demise of e-book readers.
The Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon, and the company likely wants to keep pushing forward with it, but sporting a further reduced price tag. This would attract consumer demand from the education and consumer market, while the more expensive and more powerful tablet would be able to take on the broader market outside of the e-book reader space. In addition to the Kindle ecosystem, the company has the Amazon Android App Store, its Cloud Drive service, and is in the meantime making sure to support its Kindle app on tablets.
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