Amazon tablet on track to launch this year, may face production challenges because of the iPad
Last month was filled with rumors about Amazon’s upcoming tablet or tablets powered by Android. First we heard about a prospective launch in the second half of this year, then we heard that there may be not one, but two tablets in the works, and finally we even got pricing information – which is not something you can say often even about devices already officially announced, and even less so about purely rumored products.
But all’s well. After all, the more information we find out, the better. No matter how many months away a launch really is. And today we can add some more pieces to the puzzle that is Amazon’s foray into the tablet market.
Digitimes reports that Amazon is about to place orders for components for its tablet. Three different touch panel makers, for example, are all eyeing Amazon’s upcoming orders. The first 1.5-2 million touch panel units are bound to be shipped in September to Amazon, or rather to the company it will select to assemble the tablet.
Apparently Amazon’s target is to ship 4 million tablets this year, which, depending on when the device or devices get released, may be a lot. Anyway, if the touch panels will start arriving in September, that means there’s probably no way that the first tablets will ship sooner than October, or even November. Remember, aside from needing time to be assembled, these things actually need to physically travel between Taiwan or China, where they’ll be made, and the US.
An interesting thing may happen to Amazon, though. Production of its tablet(s) may be negatively influenced by the fact that making components for Apple’s iPad is taking up a lot of production space (and time) from suppliers. So the iPad’s success may impact Amazon’s tablet production. Not unheard of, but interesting nonetheless.
Of course, the above is just at “rumors and speculation” stage, so do have your standard issue grain of salt ready. And who knows, while iPad orders may influence Amazon tablet orders, the numbers may be small enough for this not to matter in the end. We’ll see. Now if only Amazon would decide to make an official announcement…