Amazon to hit tablet market
Company plans to sell its rumoured device for well under cost
Amazon.com is planning to launch its tablet devices into the market at below cost price and may sell as many as five million tablet computers in Q4 2011, making it the strongest Apple competitor in the tablet market, according to Reuters.
Apple's iPad has flown off shelves since its launch in April 2010, with almost 30 million units sold.
Rumours suggest that Amazon will launch a 7-inch tablet in October and a 10.1-inch device at the beginning of 2012. Foxconn is said to be the manufacturer of the 10.1-inch device, while Quanta Computer will manufacture the 7-inch tablet.
The time-frame for the Amazon tablet launch fits in with speculation that the device will hit before Christmas to challenge the iPad and other rival tablets.
Tablet devices are also manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co, Research in Motion and Motorola Mobility, but these have failed to be a serious challenge Apple's lead in the tablet market.
In August, HP scrapped its tablet device and sold off units at a massively discounted price to attempt to jolt Apple's sales.
According to Reuters, one of the problems with iPad rivals has been that developers have waited before creating a lot of applications, or apps, for the devices.
The Apple App store features about 10,000 custom built apps for its iPad, while Google's Honeycomb platform for Android has attracted fewer than 300 apps.
Amazon shares were up 3.4% at $206.03 in afternoon trading on Monday, leaving them up more than 10 percent so far this year.
Apple shares were up 1.6% at $389.87. The stock is up almost 19% so far in 2011.