Amazon is set to launch a tablet as early as October, according to a report released late yesterday by the Wall Street Journal that cited people familiar with the matter.
Given Amazon’s recent cloud offering, existing billing systems, Android app store and customer base, many believe the online retailer could produce the first real competitor to Apple’s iPad, which by conservative estimates currently controls over 85 percent of the media tablet market globally. Apple says it has sold 19.5 million iPads since the launch of the popular device.
Amazon’s tablet will reportedly have a 9-inch screen and will run on Google’s Android platform but will not have a camera. No word was available on pricing or distribution as of this writing.
While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has long insisted that the company would stay away from the tablet market, the lines between eReaders and tablets has been blurred with recent LCD-based entries like Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, which also runs on Android.
On the eReader side, Amazon yesterday released a $139 3G version of the Kindle, which will serve ads provided by AT&T, the carrier tasked with providing cellular service to the Kindle devices. The Kindle 3G without ads now runs for $189.
Amazon is expected to update its Kindle line this fall, adding a possible touchscreen model to the mix, according to the Journal.