Amazon tablet drumbeat picks up; likely to land by October

Here's one tablet story that won't go away even if it isn't confirmed yet. It is now being reported that Amazon will be launching its own tablet computer by October.

Here's one tablet story that won't go away even if it isn't confirmed yet. It is now being reported that Amazon will be launching its own tablet computer by October.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has some big product plans in store just ahead of the holiday shopping season:

The Seattle-based company will also release two updated versions of its popular Kindle electronic reader in the third quarter of the year, the people said. One will be a touch-screen device. The other won't have a touch screen, but will be an improved and cheaper adaptation of the current Kindle, said people who have seen the device.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Amazon is ordering as many as 1 million to 1.2 million tablets in the third quarter, which would fit in line with an October release. Back in May, Digitimes said that Quanta Computer has received orders from Amazon for a tablet device with "peak orders expected to hit 700,000 to 800,000 a month."

Aside from production details, there are also plenty of rumors swirling about what kind of tablet this could be. One is that the device is being produced by Samsung. Even if it already has the Galaxy Tab series to worry about, Samsung's involvement is still a possibility according the Journal's report:

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 fairly obvious that Amazon will be integrating its existing digital resources into this device as much as possible, including Amazon Video On Demand, the Kindle store and the Cloud Player for music.

Another idea is that the slate will be a subsidized tablet like the ad-supported versions of the Kindle, making it a much more competitive option (at least pricing-wise, hopefully) to the iPad.

Speaking of the Kindle, at least the 3G version became a better deal today for those who don't mind a bit of advertising when reading as the 3G Special Offers edition dropped to $139.

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