Amazon's president and CEO Jeff Bezos was recently asked about the possibility of the online retailer launching a multipurpose tablet device. He answered "stay tuned" on the company's plans, and noted that such a potential device would be more likely to supplement than to supplant the Kindle, which he calls Amazon's "purpose-built e-reading device," according to Consumer Reports.

He wouldn't reveal much though. "We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device," Bezos said. "In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn't answer." While acknowledging that tablet computers seem to be gaining in popularity, he made sure to underline that this doesn't necessarily mean the demise of the Kindle e-book reader.

The rumor that Amazon is looking to build a tablet has been around for a while but it started to gain steam late last month, when it was suggested that Samsung would build an Android tablet for the online retailer. 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.

The latest rumor from earlier this month was that the Amazon tablet had entered production, and that it would be shipping later this year. Monthly orders during the peak season were estimated somewhere between 700,000 units and 800,000 units.