Analyst: Amazon to Launch Android-Based Tablet in 2011

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 05-24-2011

Amazon.com is aiming to release at least one tablet computer based on Google's Android operating system in time for the holiday 2011 season, said an industry analyst May 23.

Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin, who spoke to sources in Tapiei where many computers are manufactured, said in a PC Magazine piece that the bookseller-turned-mobile-device maker plans on releasing a 10-inch tablet, and possibly a 7-inch tablet later this year.

The tablets, which will challenge Apple's iPad, the Android-based Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab slates, Research in Motion's Blackberry PlayBook, as well as the HP TouchPad, will feature LCD screens, support Adobe Flash and run Nvidia's Tegra quad-core chip.

Bajarin's report is the latest in a pile of evidence that has been steadily mounting since Amazon launched its Amazon Appstore for Android in March.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stoked the fire 10 days ago when he told Consumer Reports to "stay tuned" on the topic of an Amazon tablet. One week before that, Taipei-based DigiTimes said Quanta has received tablet orders from Amazon.

One month ago, Engadget and gdgt Co-founder Peter Rojas said he's almost certain Amazon is having Samsung build a tablet that could run a custom version of Android rather than the Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" tablet OS. Rojas said such a device could launch as soon as this summer.

Now Bajarin said a tablet device will use a display similar to the one in the Nook and the Galaxy Tab, though Amazon originally wanted a screen that could switch between the black and white E Ink-like display consumers are accustomed to using on Amazon's Kindle and a color LCD.

However, such a screen will not be ready for the market until at least 2012 or early 2013, the analyst said. In the meantime, he expects the 7-inch tablet to be priced at $349, with a 10-inch model offered for $449. Such aggressive prices undercut the $499 pricing for the 7-inch Galaxy Tab on Verizon Wireless and undercut the entry-level iPad by $50.

For more, read the eWEEK article: Amazon Tablets Sport Android, Tegra Quad-Core Chips: Bajarin.