Rumor: Amazon prepping multiple wallet-friendly tablets

The latest details suggest that Amazon is working on budget-friendly 7- and 10-inch tablets, and if the prices prove true, they could present a big threat to today's Android tablets.

It's not much of a stretch to say that the Amazon tablet has become one of the worst-kept secrets in the Android universe. These last few months have seen rumors and hints coming from all angles, including a coy statement from CEO Jeff Bezos.

As we move into the second half of the year, when the tablets are expected to launch, additional details are beginning to fall into place, and over the past few days, we've gone from expecting a single tablet to various reports indicating that Amazon is working on both a 7- and a 10-inch tablet.

The Boy Genius Report was first to drop a pair of code names for the tablets last week, putting "Coyote" and "Hollywood" on our radars. According to information, the Coyote will be a 7-inch tablet powered by an Nvidia Tegra-2 platform, and the Hollywood will be among the first devices on the market to feature Nvidia's quad-core "Kal-El" chipset.

Considering these specs would rival today's Android tablets, you're probably wondering why an e-reader would need such processing prowess? As it looks today, these tablets won't simply be next-generation Kindles, but instead offer full-on access to a variety of Amazon services. This would include books, movies, music, applications, and more.

Amazon already has a massive library of content and services that will be available on day one. Contrast that with companies like Samsung, who is hard at work building up its Media Hub selection. In fact, of all the companies that have been tied to tablets, Amazon stands the best chance to give consumers a great end-to-end experience. With no carrier pressure or outside influence to worry about, Amazon would be free to tailor the tablets any way it sees fit.

But how much will consumers have to shell out for something so appealing? Not as much as you'd think.

According to PC Magazine's Tim Bajarin, the 7-inch version should run about $349.99, with the 10-inch counterpart selling with a $449 price tag. Even assuming these are Wi-Fi-only models, the price points are very aggressive and considerably lower than today's Android tablets. By comparison, the 7-inch HTC Flyer is currently offered through Best Buy at $499.99. As for the Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom? It's selling (or not) at $599.99.

Should these prices prove true, it's easy to forecast strong sales for the two devices. Average consumer types will enjoy the size options and integrated services, all backed by Amazon's name and reputation. Meanwhile, Android hackers will be all over these devices, repurposing them into a full tablet experience.

 

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