As of this week, we know that Amazon is tentatively set to launch its tablet in October. That along with a few other details are all we know about the device, which makes us wary seeing as it’s already being heralded as the most able tablet to take on the iPad. Before we cast our hopes on an Amazon tablet to deliver a little variety to the tablet market, it’s best we review what we do and don’t know about the coming device.
Almost as soon as the Amazon tablet rumors began making the rounds, we heard Amazon planned on releasing more than one device. We originally heard there would be two tablets: Coyote, it’s cheaper, entry-level device, and Hollywood, the more iPad-like rival. Since then, there hasn’t been much talk of an Amazon-Android ecosystem. But the Digitimes report that first connected Amazon’s hardware unit orders to its tablet plans revealed more than just a possible product launch: The report shows that Amazon has ordered 10.1-inch tablets from Foxconn (for 2012) and 7-inch tablets from Quanta. And there have also been reports Amazon is readying a 9-inch tablet.
How many will we see in October, though? The orders make it sound as if Amazon would launch two before the holiday shopping season and one after, but that ball is still entirely up in the air.
What will Amazon’s tablet(s) look like?
We know they all will be Android-based, for starters. If the multiple-tablet rumors are true, the 7-inch “Coyote” tablet will run on Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip. The 9-inch, “Hollywood,” unit would possibly use Nvidia’s dual-core Tegra 2 chip, although we’ve heard it will be based on the quad-core Kal-El chip.
It’s also been said the tablet won’t have a camera, and we’re uncertain whether this applies to all the devices or maybe just the 7-inch. Forbes says at least one tablet is believed to have a camera lens manufactured by Newmax Technology, which creates lens units for a slew of electronics.
Then there is the 10-inch tablet, which we assume would also use the Kal-El chip. Of course, the existence of this device hinges on little more than hardware orders, so it remains something of a mystery. All will likely run Honeycomb 3.1.
As far as software goes, we expect the Amazon app store will be preinstalled, as well as its own custom UI layer over the Android interface. Given the success of the Kindle, we imagine there will be a preinstalled Kindle app as well.
This is entirely unknown: There have been no rumors or hints of any kind as to how much the tablet(s) will cost, but we’d wager less than the iPad. This means it will have to skimp on certain iPad features – like the camera, as well as memory most likely.