Amazon.com may introduce a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday afternoon.
The new tablet, which is supposedly due out in October, will reportedly have a nine-inch screen. And it will run Google's Android operating system, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources. Amazon isn't designing the tablet itself. Instead, it will outsource the design of the device to an Asian manufacturer, the report said.
The Amazon tablet will reportedly be designed to allow Amazon customers to watch movies, listen to digital music, and read e-books, all of which are offered through the Amazon online store. The new tablet isn't expected to have a camera, according to the Journal's sources.
The article also said that Amazon is planning to announce two new black-and-white Kindle e-readers. The new e-readers will reportedly use the same faux paper and ink technology as the previous Kindles that makes the pages easy to read. One of the new Kindles will reportedly be a cheaper version of the existing Kindle. The company will also introduce a touch screen version of the product, which will compete against readers offered by Barnes & Noble and Kobo, the article said.
The new Amazon tablet will be entering a crowded field. Since Apple first launched the iPad a couple of years ago, the segment has been a hot category. And it's quickly filled with competitors using the Google Android operating system. Hundreds of companies have entered the market, including big names like Samsung with its Galaxy Tab products. Others including Sony and Hewlett-Packard have also recently announced products in this category. Even mobile phone maker Research In Motion has tried to get into the market with the Playbook.
But so far, none of them has met the success of the Apple iPad.
The Journal article did not mention pricing for the new tablet or for the new Kindle e-readers.