A report from DigiTimes out of Taiwan overnight offers the latest clues about rumored plans by Amazon.com to launch its own line of tablet computers, potentially expanding beyond its dedicated Kindle e-readers into more multipurpose computing.
Citing anonymous component makers, the site says Amazon will launch models as early as August or September, aiming for sales of 4 million units by the end of the year. The timing is designed to “meet the peak sales period prior to Thanksgiving in the US and the year-end holidays in the US and Europe,” according to the site.
DigiTimes is considered “occasionally reliable” — sometimes hitting the mark with its inside reports, but not always. Its recent report that Microsoft was considering launching a tablet under its own brand was met with widespread skepticism.
In this case, however, the DigiTimes report is the latest clue in a mounting pile of evidence that the Seattle-based online retailer is preparing to launch a new tablet computer of its own, probably based on Google’s Android operating system.
Depending on the details, an Amazon tablet launch for the holidays would add a new twist to a market dominated by the iPad. It could also further complicate matters for Microsoft and Windows PC makers, which have already seen the Apple device cut into sales of their low-end machines.
Previously on GeekWire: Jeff Bezos explains why Amazon is so big on tablets