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Amazon reportedly ramping up 7- and 10-inch tablets

The online retailer is reportedly busy lining up suppliers in time to launch both a 7-inch and 10-inch tablet sometime in the third quarter.

Amazon is aiming to launch both a 7-inch and 10-inch tablet in the third quarter and is currently lining up the right suppliers, according to the latest from the folks at DigiTimes.

A number of chip design firms in Taiwan expect to see a healthy bump in sales in the third quarter as they ship parts for the new tablets, said Digitimes, citing industry sources. With Amazon shooting to ship 4 million tablets this year, the company's orders for integrated circuits have become the second largest in the industry, behind  only Apple's iPad, added the sources.

These latest reports follow a recent story in the Wall Street Journal claiming that the tablet would have a roughly 9-inch screen and would use Google's Android OS but would leave out the traditional camera. The Journal pinned the release date as sometime by October.

Amazon has picked Quanta Computer to assemble the tablets, DigiTimes said, following up on similar reports published last month.

The retailer has also tapped Taiwan-based Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) to supply touch sensors for the 7-inch tablet's glass-on-glass touch panels. Such sensors help the tablet detect finger movements. Based on Amazon's target, 2 to 4 million touch panels are expected to ship by the end of September.

CPT's involvement in the new tablet comes through a partnership with E Ink Holdings, which supplies the e-paper used in the Amazon Kindle. Amazon's tablet will reportedly use E Ink's Fringe Field Switching LCD technology for its touch screen, which means it would be a color LCD display.

Amazon itself has remained mum on whether it plans to unveil its first tablet this year. However, in a May interview with Consumer Reports, CEO Jeff Bezos dangled a few hints by advising people to "stay tuned" and promised that if Amazon were to launch a tablet, it wouldn't replace the Kindle but instead be sold alongside it.