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Sources not identified by the paper said Amazon will release an Android tablet with a 9-inch screen by October, along with two new Kindles sometime in the third quarter of 2011: one with a touchscreen, the other one a new and cheaper version of the current Kindle. Both have e-ink screens. The tablet will allow users to watch video, listen to music and read e-books, said the WSJ‘s sources, who have seen the devices.
Speculation about an Amazon tablet has been a near-constant Internet topic of conversation in recent months, with Taiwanese tech publication Digitimes reporting just a couple of days ago that Amazon would ship over 1 million tablets in the third quarter (compared to Apple’s 14 to 15 million iPad shipments). But as far as we know, this is the first time that a new Kindle–much less two–have been reported. This also appears to be the first time that anybody has reported seeing the devices.
We’ve reached out to Amazon and will update this post if we hear back. In a shareholders meeting conference call last month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dodged questions about “shortcomings” in Kindle offerings (i.e., where’s the tablet?). In May, he told Consumer Reports to “stay tuned” about a tablet.
As for official Amazon announcements, the company announced today that AT&T (NYSE: T) is now sponsoring the Kindle 3G with Special Offers, and dropped its price 15 percent, to $139.