Amazon's tablet to launch in August?

Online retailer to launch much-anticipated tablet PC in time to take advantage of the pre-Thanksgiving shopping rush, DigiTimes reports.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
Expertise I have more than 30 years' experience in journalism in the heart of the Silicon Valley.
Steven Musil

It appears Amazon will have its much-anticipated tablet on the market to challenge Apple before the end of the year.

Taiwan-based component makers say the online retailer will launch a tablet PC as early as August, with global sales for 2011 pegged at 4 million units, according to a report from tech site DigiTimes. With monthly orders expected to hit 700,000 to 800,000 units a month, the tablet's launch is timed to take advantage of the pre-Thanksgiving shopping rush, DigiTimes' sources pointed out.

Taiwan-based Quanta Computer has reportedly already received orders from Amazon to build the retail giant's first tablet PC. The new tablet will apparently use E Ink's Fringe Field Switching LCD technology, suggesting it will be a color LCD touch panel (a departure from the black-and-white E-ink Kindles we've seen to date)."

Sources said that Amazon has been under pressure to release a tablet to compete with the iPad since Kindle sales haven't done well outside of North America and Europe. A new tablet would also tap into Amazon's recently opened AppStore and its new Amazon Cloud Drive.

When asked last month by Consumer Reports about the possibility of Amazon selling its own tablet, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cagely replied, "stay tuned." Bezos also said during the interview that if Amazon were to do a tablet, it wouldn't replace the Kindle but be sold alongside it.