The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday that confidently proclaims the upcoming release of an Amazon tablet and two new Kindles by October.
The news is based off of what “people familiar with the matter” said. Of course the article talks mostly about the tablet and how it will compete with the iPad (that’s a topic that will be beat to death in the upcoming months), but first let’s go over the details of the new Kindles.
Actually the details are pretty slim at this point. According to the article, Amazon plans to release two new Kindles in the third quarter of this year (July-September). One will have a touchscreen and the other will be a basic model without a touchscreen. Amazon purchased a touchscreen company last year, so the Kindle will likely feature a different type of touchscreen than the Nook, Kobo, and Sony, which all use the same infrared touch technology provided by a company called Neonode.
As for the Amazon tablet, it is expected to have a 9″ screen and will run on the Google Android operating system. One detail that makes me question the validity of these claims is the fact that the reports say the tablet will not have a camera. Anyone who knows anything about Android knows that a tablet has to have a camera as a requisite to have official Android Market access, as per Google’s guidelines, among other specifics.
If it indeed doesn’t have a camera, it is very unlikely that it will run Android Honeycomb in its full un-tampered glory. That would be a huge negative in the eyes of consumers. But perhaps that is true. Now that Amazon has their own Android appstore, maybe they don’t want their tablet to have Android Market access. In fact, knowing they way they do things, that is a very likely possibility. They may want people to buy from their appstore exclusively, and not have access to the Google Android Market at all.