Amazon tablet appears set for late 2011 release

Amazon Android
Evidence seemed to build that Amazon is in the process of building an Android tablet on Tuesday as DigiTimes reported sources said electronics maker Quanta had received orders for such a device.

Amazon's tablet, which is believed to run on Android, would likely be the next-generation Kindle as opposed to a separate device. Gdgt's Peter Rojas said last week that he expected Amazon to do something similar to what Barnes & Noble has done with the new Nook.

Quanta is no stranger to tablet manufacturing, being the company behind RIM's PlayBook and Sony's recent tablet entrants. DigiTimes also says it has been pursuing Lenovo to score the manufacturing deal for its planned LePad tablet.

The device is expected to start shipping in the second half of this year, and DigiTimes sources say they expect shipments to be between 700,000 and 800,000 units monthly during the holiday shopping season. The device may also see a price decrease, they say, mainly due to the Kindle's failure so far to break into other markets outside North America and Europe.

Such news would also seemingly validate Rojas' speculation, who believed the unit could sell for under $250 in an effort to sell as many as possible. Amazon could use the tablet as a "loss leader" -- aiming to make up for those losses with increased sales in its Kindle book and MP3 music stores.

Like Apple, Amazon is building a top-down infrastructure that would be able to support a device like the rumored tablet, but at the same time entice consumers to purchase the device. The ecosystem around the iPod, iPhone, and iPad arguably have a lot to do with Apple's success overall -- but that took years to build.

Neither Quanta nor other component suppliers mentioned in the DigiTimes report would comment on the rumors.

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