Amazon.com is expected to ship up to 1.2 million tablet computers by the end of September, making it the biggest of the non-iPad tablet suppliers in the third quarter, according to a new report in DigiTimes.
Citing unnamed tablet PC component suppliers, Taiwan-based DigiTimes also said that Amazon is expected to order as many as 2 million touch-panel displays from suppliers in the August-September period.
The prediction for Amazon tablet sales is surprising, because the online retailer hasn't announced a tablet and has thus far focused on selling its low-cost, black-and-white Kindle e-readers. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
Rumors have circulated that Amazon is prepping two tablet models, code-named Coyote and Hollywood, which would both be powered by Nvidia processors. The tech website BGR said the entry-level Coyote would have a dual-core Tegra 2 chip, while the more powerful Hollywood would be equipped with a quadcore T30 Kal-El processor, which would offer 500% better performance than the Tegra 2.
Nvidia showed a prototype tablet running the quadcore Kal-El in late May before the Computex trade show in Taipei.
The Tegra 2 is used in the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the LG Optimus and the Asus Transformer tablet computers.
If Amazon enters the tablet market, it would join a crowded field led by the Apple iPad. The DigiTimes report said Apple will take delivery of 14 million to 15 million iPads from Foxconn Electronics in the third quarter, up from 10.5 million to 11 million in the second quarter.
Other vendors' tablets, most of which run the Android mobile operating system, would account for 6 million to 7 million of the tablets sold in the third quarter, according to DigiTimes. The website didn't calculate how many Samsung Galaxy Tabs would ship in the third quarter, but it said the Acer Iconia Tab A500 would be behind Amazon's, at up to 900,000 units shipped.
Meanwhile, DigiTimes said Motorola Xoom shipments would reach 400,000 for the quarter, the Dell Streak would see sales of up to 250,000 units, and sales of the HTC Flyer could be as high as 450,000 units. The report didn't calculate shipments for the HP TouchPad, which runs the WebOS operating system.
One analyst, IDC's Bob O'Donnell, said Amazon "has something in the works, but the question is whether it will be a true tablet or something that competes with the color Barnes & Noble Nook."
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