Amazon will launch two Android tablets before the end of the year, according to a tipster at Boy Genius Report.
Following last week's comments from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the rumour mill has been hotting up. Though Bezos tried to direct attention away from the possibility of launching multifunction devices, instead focusing on Kindle improvements, it's the things he didn't say that have caused a stir.
The alleged inside information suggests a low-end tablet would sport the dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 chip and be codenamed 'Coyote'. A high-spec 'Hollywood' tablet would cram in the Nvidia T30 quad-core chip. With a reported performance increase of 500 per cent over the Tegra 2, that's a fairly powerful (and no doubt battery-hungry) beast and could be highly tempting if it makes it into a tablet.
No more information has leaked out about these slates. We'd hope they'd have some decent hardware on board to match the processors. If they want to challenge the iPad 2 and the like they'll need a very high quality display and nippy performance.
While early Kindles were too expensive and rather unwieldy, they sold on a unique concept, and subsequent versions built strongly on the brand. The tablet market may not be so forgiving if their first attempt is unremarkable.
If these tablets do emerge it will be interesting to see how Google reacts, and whether Amazon cares. The Amazon Appstore, currently only available in the US, is a heavyweight challenger to the Android Marketplace. We don't imagine Google looking too favourably on Amazon's tablets, but with the online retailer's massive clout that may not matter. Major scoops like Angry Birds Rio exclusivity don't hurt either. Whether Amazon can "do an Apple" and become instantly successful in the crowded tablet world remains to be seen.