Amazon's much-anticipated Android tablet is said to be the iPad killer that Android enthusiasts have been waiting for. If you're a fan, you might just be able to get your hands on an Amazon tablet in time for the holidays. But another, bigger one is around the corner.
No 10-Incher Yet
The rumor mill from among Asian OEMs is buzzing with excitement about Amazon's planned tablet release. According to Digitimes, manufacturers in China are already preparing to meet orders. China's Quanta Computer expects to make shipments of the 7-inch version by October, which means the tablets will be available in time for the holiday rush.
However, the 10.1-inch version will have to wait until 2012. Foxconn Electronics, which produces the Kindle eBook reader for Amazon to the tune of 15 to 18 million units a year, is expected to commence production by first quarter of 2012, sources from upstream suppliers say.
The 10.1-inch version is expected to ship with Nvidia's upcoming Kal-El class quad-core mobile chipsets. Meanwhile, the 7-inch version will run on a dual-core version of the same chip. The 7-incher is said to focus on eBook-reading, and is likely positioned as a higher-end version of Amazon's own Kindle e-reader.
What Makes Amazon Android Tablets So Special?
Amazon will be shipping its tablets with Android (Honeycomb expected), and while it doesn't own the platform, Amazon tablets will have some value-add when it comes to software. Aside from supporting Google's official Android Market, Amazon's tablets are also expected to support the Amazon AppStore out of the box. The AppStore features free and paid applications, as well as content from Amazon such as eBooks and electronic versions of magazines.
Another point of interest would be the price. Amazon is reported to be selling its tablets at a loss, with the 10-inch version retailing for hundreds less than the cheapest iPad 2 (priced at $499). Meanwhile, the 7-inch version is positioned directly against Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, which currently retails for $249. With the holidays just around the corner, we will have to wait until Amazon announces definite pricing.
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