KitGuru reported a few weeks ago that Amazon had planned to release a tablet to target the same market as Apple's iPad. In all honesty, this is a daunting challenge for any tablet maker as Apple are dominating the sector with a ruthless efficiency.
Contacts in Taipei have spoken to our guy Yong Lei behind closed doors and we hear that the release isn't that far away in the future. Sources indicate that the device will use a display very similar to the model used in the Nook and Galaxy Tab. The original concept was to have a screen which could switch between e-ink tech and color LCD, but while this is planned, the technology won't be available for mass production for at least another year, or possibly two.
Amazon are therefore going to be using a screen which is based on current technology, therefore LCD based. Information leaked suggests they might make two models, a 7 inch and a 10 inch version. Android OS is also the operating system of choice.
Speaking with one of our moles in Taipei we were told that nVidia's quad core Tegra chip will be the powerhouse behind the processing.
The tablet market is currently swamped with models, but it would be hard to notice it by looking at market sales. Apple are selling huge numbers of tablets, while everyone else is left picking up the scraps at the table. With industry information circulating that another 50 new tablets are due for production soon, it seems to be a never ending struggle for tablet makers.
Amazon are slightly different, because they have proven successful in the E-Reader market, selling millions of tablets for the book adoring audience, which is stronger than anyone could have anticipated.
While Amazon will obviously be promoting their new tablet as a challenger to the iPad while offering the strong E book capabilities, we can't help but wonder if the sales might suffer. People find LCD technology very tiring on the eyes, which is why Amazon ignored it completely with their Kindle devices, opting for E-ink screen technology. It makes sense.
Amazon were very public about the problems with LCD technology as can be seen from the official advert they released last year (above). While they are targeting a new tablet for a wider audience, they will always be known as having the core strength with electronic books. Many will say that moving to LCD technology will totally alienate the E-Reader audience who won't suddenly sell their Kindle for a new ‘all round' tablet.
This leaves Amazon going head to head with Apple for a pure tablet design and this is a heck of a challenge, even with their history.
KitGuru says: Can Amazon do it? or are they destined to join the pile of failed tablet challengers already littering the market?