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Amazon looks set to release tablet

Amazon looks set to release tablet

Amazon's large order for touchscreens implies that a forthcoming tablet may be on the cards.

Online retailing giant Amazon looks set to weigh into the tablet market later this year, if industry sources are to be believed.

According to DigiTimes, Amazon has placed an order for a large number of touchscreens. The screens are allegedly going to use Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, which has the advantages of offering a wide colour gamut and wide viewing angles.

The report also claims that Amazon is feeling bullish about the tablet's predicted success, and is expecting to ship up to 800,000 units a month.

The company is entitled to feel confident too, as its first foray into consumer handheld devices, the Kindle, has been a runaway success with over 8 million units sold in 2010 alone.

These rumours come hot on the heels of information given to our sister publication PC Pro from industry insiders, who revealed that Amazon was working on a colour version of the Kindle, based on Google’s Android OS. However, it’s not yet clear whether this is the same development or a different device altogether.

DigiTimes also reports that Amazon is planning to reduce the price of the Kindle to differentiate it from the forthcoming tablet, which will be aimed at the higher end of the market. According to the site's sources, it's hoped that this price drop will ‘attract consumer demand from the education and consumer market.

Would you invest in an Amazon tablet? Is a price drop for the Kindle enough to make you take the plunge with one? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

22 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Phalanx 3rd May 2011, 11:39 Quote
OMG Colour Kindle! Yes please!
Krikkit 3rd May 2011, 11:43 Quote
If it's as good as the Kindle turned out, yes please!
Xir 3rd May 2011, 12:03 Quote
I don't really "get" the kindle...
Then again, I believe we lack the free-Wikipedia-connection, which makes it a lot less attractive
Cei 3rd May 2011, 12:04 Quote
Kindle price drop? Unlikely as it's cheap enough already, and the only price cut has been done via the advertising model. I highly doubt they could shave any significant amount off it.

As for the new one? Meh. The Kindle's advantage is e-ink, giving it superior readability and massive battery life. A tablet with an FFS screen is going to only get the 10 or less hours we're seeing as tablet battery lives these days, not weeks or months a la e-ink. It'll just end up as yet another Android tablet on the market, most of which can run the Kindle app anyway.

Colour e-ink screen? Now I'm interested!


EDIT: Hahaha, FFS screen. I had a chuckle at that.

Xir: Kindles are great. I use mine all the time for travelling (saves all the heavy, bulky paperbacks), reading at home and so on. I do have the 3G model though, and occasionally use it for the odd Wiki lookup or email reading.
mpr 3rd May 2011, 12:19 Quote
If they don't ditch the quality and readability e-ink I'll be upgrading! I Love the Kindle, tablets don't really make sense to me... but carrying around a few hardcovers worth of new releases on a device that has everything paper has except wieght and new paper smell.... Well it's genius.

I was very adverse to the idea at first and still buy a few authors' hardcovers, but everything else has been sapping my wallet straight to my Kindle.
Stelph 3rd May 2011, 12:32 Quote
This is more or less what I epxected Amazon to do and exactly what I hoped would happen. An amazon tablet would work well as amazon can closely intigrate their own distribution of media and also (like the Kindle) afford to sell with a very slim margin or even at a loss since they would be recouping any losses from sales of media like books and magazines and hopefully music and movies (lovefilm on a tablet anyone?)

If they can bring a tablet out at around £149-£199 then I think itll really fly off the shelves and be a worthy alterantive to the iPad
Jim 3rd May 2011, 12:33 Quote
Is this really likely to be e-ink?
Nedsbeds 3rd May 2011, 12:40 Quote
cue tie-in with amazon's own android app store....
mpr 3rd May 2011, 12:42 Quote
Snooty, it's being made by e-ink from other reports... but whether its as paper crisp and easy on the eyes as the current B&W system is up for debate.
memeroot 3rd May 2011, 13:27 Quote
love the kindle because of the screen
Ross1 3rd May 2011, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
I don't really "get" the kindle...
Then again, I believe we lack the free-Wikipedia-connection, which makes it a lot less attractive

um, you can browse wiki on a kindle. its one of the few websites that is somewhat reasonable to read/browse on a kindle.
Bloodburgers 3rd May 2011, 15:14 Quote
Another lawsuit on the cards from apple methinks?
azazel1024 3rd May 2011, 15:41 Quote
Just so long as they keep the Kindle I'll be happy. I want a tablet, but I also want me my Kindle. Okay, I don't have one yet...but my birthday is a couple of week away, and it is an open secrete that I am getting one from my wife. That said, I want something with some flavor of E-ink, color or monochrome. I want an electronic book replacement that I can read in full sun easily. I want one that I don't have to think about charging except at a note on my calender monthly to do. I want something with a screen the size of a paperback book. Something that is going to be small and easy to slip in to a large pocket.

I also want a tablet. Something that is viewable in the dark (sunlight would also be nice, but I care a lot less about that). Something with good hardware specs. I want something with a bigger screen, 7" at least. I don't mind having to recharge it every couple of days with moderate use.

To me what I want in an eReader is almost completely incompatible with what I want in a tablet. Something like a Nook Color wouldn't work at all as an eReader. Would I ever use a tablet to read books? I am sure I would occasionaly. I also read books on a PC as well sometimes. It doesn't replace an actual book. Just like a tablet isn't going to replace an eReader for me. It might supplement one though.

I just hope if this is an FFS eReader for Amazon, they basically make it a full featured tablet with an emphasis on its abilities as an eReader as well. Take a page from the Nook Color. A lot of people bought thing so they could root it immediately and run Android fully on it. People are "rejoicing" (okay a little strong) now that BN has made it "native" android 2.2. If you are going to do your own Android based eReader...just make it a real tablet, maybe with a reskinned Honeycomb (or whatever) with an emphasis for eReading or something.

Do that and you probably have my order.
Bauul 3rd May 2011, 16:37 Quote
Well Tablets have now outsold netbooks for the first time the UK, so this doesn't surprise me.
theevilelephant 3rd May 2011, 17:01 Quote
There was me just about to buy a kindle... To wait or not? :(
Toploaded 3rd May 2011, 17:17 Quote
So this 'free 3G' you get with kindles, is that really as simple as that? You buy one, and you are allowed to us it to surf the web as much as you like? If so that's pretty cool for just checking web based email and Wikipedia alone.
fodder 3rd May 2011, 17:32 Quote
Yep, free 3G on the kindle. Works very well for sites that are primarily text based. IE wikis and news sites plus webmail. You can also e-mail e-books or PDF to it via a free e-mail addy you get when you register your amazom account on the kindle. Very cool.

The big plus with the current kindle is the battery life - HUGE. I use mine every day and charge it about once a month or three weeks. Without that it would be nice to read but a a pain in the butt as yet another thing to charge every day.
Cei 3rd May 2011, 17:36 Quote
Toploaded, yes, it's as simple as that. No charges, no contract. You don't even get told what network it runs on, though I've heard it's Orange, nor the SIM number or anything. It just works.
mpr 4th May 2011, 08:53 Quote
Top, there is a fine print... but the average user won't notice it. I'm a yank living in the UK, I get most of my books from the US Amazon store but occassionaly my fav authors have stuff that was only released for Europe so I have a .co.uk Amazon account as well. Both formats easily download for free to my US Kindle. I haven't had the opportunity to use it in the Middle East yet but I'm sure it would work flawlessly.

The catch is that e-newspaper subscriptions have an additional fee for me if I travel outside the zone. So if I had NY Times from the US I would get a small fee everytime I downloaded the paper here in the UK. However if I could (and I don't know if it's possible as I don't use these features) get a sub via the .co.uk site it wouldn't have said fee unless I went back to the US.

So books are free anywhere. Subscription based content MAY have a fee when traveling.
Toploaded 5th May 2011, 02:17 Quote
Wow, that's amazing really, I will have to invest I think, although I guess based on the news above I should wait and see if the price comes down alittle first.
Xir 5th May 2011, 10:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross1
um, you can browse wiki on a kindle. its one of the few websites that is somewhat reasonable to read/browse on a kindle.
They're supposed to be 'free 3G'...but not in this country :D
That's what I meant
uz1_l0v3r 5th May 2011, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross1
um, you can browse wiki on a kindle. its one of the few websites that is somewhat reasonable to read/browse on a kindle.
They're supposed to be 'free 3G'...but not in this country :D
That's what I meant

Wrong. The Kindle 3g is free globally.
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