Amazon is set to release an Android-based tablet PC in October, according to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal report citing the catch-all "people familiar with the matter", said that the tablet would have a 9-inch screen but will be missing at least one feature of the tablet all-star iPad, a built-in camera.
Little more is known about the Android device although component suppliers in the Far East had suggested that the production volume is expected to be in the multi-millions in the third quarter, far beyond other Apple rivals such as Samsung and Motorola.
The world’s largest etailer has never acknowledged the Android tablet but Amazon chief Jeff Bezos had said earlier in the year that if such a device were to arrive, it would not replace the dedicated reading device, the Amazon Kindle.
The price of the Amazon tablet isn’t yet known but it’s expected to be considerably cheaper than the iPad, likely coming up against rival US bookstore Barnes and Nobel’s e-reader, the colour-screen Android powered Nook.
The Nook costs $249. The Kindle has been a considerable sales success, largely off the back of a low price. That said, Amazon would struggle to provide a competitive hardware specification at these sort of prices but the retailer could be banking on a category of tablet sitting somewhere between the low-priced Kindle and the high-end expensive tablet category dominated by the iPad.
Unlike other Android tablet makers, Amazon also has the benefit of an extensive offering of digital books, music and now their own curated Android app market.