Amazon chief hints at tablet plans

Asked whether Amazon is working on a tablet, chief executive Jeff Bezos said "stay tuned", fuelling speculation that an iPad rival is imminent.

Andy Merrett
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
Andy Merrett

Amazon may soon launch a tablet, judging by comments made in an interview with Consumer Reports, which is essentially the US version of Which?.

Asked whether Amazon was working on a tablet, chief executive Jeff Bezos said "stay tuned". 

As for the threat to Amazon's Kindle ebook reader posed by tablets such as the iPad, Bezos said: "We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device. In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn't answer."  

Bezos also suggested that, if Amazon were to release a tablet, it wouldn't necessarily spell the death of the Kindle. "I hate the term 'killer,' as in one device killing another in the marketplace," he said. 

Bezos was more explicit about the possibility of a colour Kindle, when the E Ink technology has improved. Even that could be some way off, as Bezos believes that colour E Ink "is not ready for prime time... the colours are very pale."

All-singing, all-dancing gadgets might be more exciting, but ebook readers are big business. Perhaps Amazon should stick to what it does really well and leave the tablet wars to everyone else.

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