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Tablets

Amazon could be planning an Android tablet for October

Amazon could be launching an Android tablet, if reports are to be believed. The tablet is rumoured to have a 9-inch screen and no camera, and to be launching by October.

Once-book-now-everything emporium Amazon is planning on building its own Android tablet, to be released by October, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The site cites sources (try saying that five times fast) "familiar with the matter" and reckons Amazon's tablet will be running on Google's Android mobile operating system. It'll pack a nine-inch screen and -- unlike the iPad 2 -- won't have a camera.

We'd love to see Amazon wade into the tablet war -- Amazon already offers loads of movies and music to rent and download online, so it would be cool to have a specific bit of hardware built to use those services.

On the other hand, historically Amazon doesn't have much experience when it comes to actually building real life objects. The latest version of the Kindle is wonderfully slim and light, but it's absolutely smothered in unsightly buttons -- we wonder if Amazon has the hardware chops to pull off an Android tablet.

Then again, the WSJ article does say that Amazon "won't design the initial tablet itself" so it might just outsource the boring design bits to another company.

We heard rumours of upcoming Amazon Android tablets earlier in the year, with claims that two tablets will emerge, using Nvidia chips.

Something Amazon could offer to differentiate itself from other tablet manufacturers is access to its Whispernet network. Whispernet is what supplies the Kindle 3G edition with delicious free data, without having to pay a monthly fee to a network, or faff about with SIM cards. If customers buying the Amazon tablet could download books, movies and music from Amazon while out and about, that would be very cool.

But giving all your customers free data for downloading ebooks is very different to giving them data to download movies. Doing so could cause Amazon to rack up a data bill so massive it would make its head spin...

Would you be interested in an Amazon Android tablet? We reckon the more tablets the better -- in the spirit of competition and all that. But perhaps you disagree? If so, explain why we're idiots in the comments below, or on our Facebook wall