Amazon could be looking to sell as many as five million tablets by the end of the year. Such sales would be contingent upon a sub-$300 price point and enough supply to meet demand, says Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. Others seem to think that Amazon could come in as low as $249, a price that would significantly undercut Apple’s iPad.

Earlier this year it was rumored that Amazon was manufacturing two different tablets. The first would be an entry-level device codenamed Coyote (based on the dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 platform) and the second slate would be codenamed Hollywood (based on the quad-core Nvidia codename Kal-El platform, which is likely to be called Tegra 3).

Later rumors hinted that Quanta Computer would assemble processors developed by Texas Instruments, Taiwan-based Wintek's touch panels, and ILI Technology's LCD driver ICs.

It’s hard to fathom a Tegra 3 tablet with a sub $300 price tag, but if anyone could pull it off, it’s Amazon. Regardless of what hardware Amazon eventually brings to market, a $300 price point would likely mean the company is selling the tablet at a loss. Amazon could still make a hefty profit from the device from digital books, music, videos and apps sold to users.

This could be the first serious competitor to the iPad, as Apple primarily makes money from hardware sales on the iPad. It would be a long time before Amazon could steal the crown from Cupertino, but healthy competition is good for everyone, especially the consumer.

Amazon hasn’t said anything official about their tablet plans, nor would we expect them to ahead of launch. The most recent rumor for a launch window is sometime before October.