The Wall St. Journal today confirmed that Amazon has its eyes on the tablet market and has plans to release an Android based tablet before October. This corroborates previous reports that an Amazon tablet would be ready to ship by this Fall. Initial estimates peg Amazon’s tablet distribution to fall in the 4 million range and the device will be an interesting entrant into an ever growing tablet market.
The new tablet will intensify a growing clash between Amazon and Apple. The two tech-industry titans are already fighting for customers for their respective digital book, music and video businesses. Now Amazon will have a device that will compete closely against Apple’s popular iPad, as well as other tablets such as Samsung Electronic Co.’s Galaxy Tab.
The Amazon tablet will have a roughly nine-inch screen, people familiar with the product said, and will run on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. The online retailer isn’t designing the device itself, but is outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer, these people said.
It’s also worth mentioning that previous rumors have indicated that Amazon will have a line of Android based tablets on the market by the 2011 holiday shopping season. While this wasn’t referenced in the WSJ article, perhaps Amazon has plans to release Android tablets in varying form factors or with varying features.
Notably, the Amazon tablet referenced by the WSJ won’t come equipped with a camera.
Thus far, Apple’s iPad has been the dominant device in the tablet space and no competitors have been able to come close to giving Apple any serious competition. Still, Apple remains determined to maintain, if not increase, its lead in the tablet space in light of rumors that the company may release two new iPad models as early as this Fall – one being an iPad 3 and the other tentatively being dubbed an iPad Pro with a Retina Display.