Amazon to announce tablet Wednesday: analysts

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After much anticipation, Amazon is expected to unveil its own tablet on Wednesday, according to market analysts who spoke with Reuters. Many believe an Amazon tablet stands the best chance of stealing some of the popularity thunder from Apple’s iPad.

“Wednesday is tablet day,” BCG analyst Collin Gillis told Reuters.

On Friday, Amazon invited select media outlets (including this one) to a mysterious event, which will be held this Wednesday, September 28. The company did not say why they are holding the event, or what will be launched. But it doesn’t take a genius to deduce that a tablet is in the pipeline – we’ve been hearing quite a few details about the device for some time.

According to a number of earlier reports, Amazon will release a 7-inch tablet, which is expected to be an extension of its Kindle e-reader line, but one that runs on Google’s Android operating system. A 10.1 inch version will reportedly be released sometime next year. MG Seigler of TechCrunch, who says he has actually played with the tablet, describes the “Amazon Kindle” tablet as “very similar” in look and “form-factor” to the BlackBerry PlayBook.

The timing of Amazon’s event is telling. If the rumors are true, Apple will unveil the iPhone 5 on October 4 – a little less than a week after the Amazon event. By holding an event this week, Amazon positions itself to steal the tech press spotlight in the lead-up to the alleged Apple event. After that, it’ll be all Apple all the time.

While there’s obviously a chance Amazon will unveil something other than a tablet on Wednesday, we will be highly surprised if that happens. Either way, we’ll be there to report whatever comes out, so check back with DT for the latest Amazon news.