Amazon planning entire lineup of Android-powered devices?

amazon family lineupAn Amazon-Android tablet has been all but officially confirmed by the online retailer. Last week, CEO Jeff Bezos told us to “stay tuned” when it comes to any such announcements. What he didn’t give any hints about was the supposed expanded lineup of Android devices that Amazon may be manufacturing.

According to Android and Me, Amazon has plans outside of tablets, and will introduce an “entire family” of electronics – with specific mention of an Amazon-Android smartphone. The site says an “industry insider with direct knowledge of the project” revealed the information in a face-to-face meeting, and that the rumor was confirmed with yet another reliable source. This particular “leak” has more meat to it than most: Amazon’s research and development team has been hiring jobs related to “portable, hand-held consumer electronics” for quite some time now. And those initially contradicting rumors about Quanta and Samsung partnering with Amazon on its tablets, now lend credibility to the idea that Amazon may have more than one such device in its future. Of course its app store and cloud-based storage and music service were pretty obvious indicators as well.

Going out on more of a limb, the site starts speculating as to what hardware we could be looking at. A smartphone (“at least one”) and variously sized tablets are easy picks, but a set top box for a smart TV is also a possibility.

Bezos’ recent comments led some to believe the likely iPad-undercutting tablet could launch this summer or fall, but reports are now guessing a holiday launch of an entire lineup is also a stronger possibility. But there are more important questions than when the device(s) will hit shelves – namely, what level of quality can we expect.

If Amazon’s track record is any indication of its plans, then we can expect to see fairly reasonable prices that will undercut many competitors. And it wouldn’t be surprising to see Amazon stick with some of the technology that made the Kindle such a hit – namely, its anti-glare, anti-reflection screens. Android and Me also thinks Amazon will likely choose between Qualcomm’s Snapdragon CP, Texas Instruments dual-core 1.5GHz OMAP4, and NVIDIA’s Kal-El processor for its tablet or tablets.

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