updated 11:20 pm EDT, Mon May 2, 2011
Quanta said making tablet for Amazon
The rumored Amazon tablet is being made by contract manufacturer Quanta and should be available by the end of the year, part suppliers said Monday night. It would make as many as 700,000 to 800,000 of the tablets a month and could ship them as soon as the second half of the year. Digitimes was told Amazon would have a unique tie-in with its usual e-paper supplier: although E Ink would supply some display components, it would be giving just the fringe field switching technology used in LCDs and a touchscreen layer.
The online reseller was confident it would challenge Apple's iPad 2 on content, such as its book, movie, and music stores, while using cheaper Kindles to cover schools and low-end home buyers. Its advantage might mostly be limited to the US as the Amazon Appstore, Amazon MP3, and Instant Video aren't available outside of the US. Android is near certain to be the platform of choice.
Few details of the tablet have emerged other than a possibility Samsung would be the co-designer. Neither Amazon nor Quanta has confirmed any of the plans.
A tablet if in the works would show Amazon's chief Jeff Bezos to have thrown a smoke screen about his company's real intents. He previously insisted Amazon would avoid competing with the iPad and focusing primarily on reading through the Kindle. A more tablet-like design, even if focused on reading like the Nook Color, would still thrust Amazon into more direct competition with Apple.