Amazon plans to release two new Android tablets before the end of 2011, including one with NVIDIA’s forthcoming mobile quad-core chip, according to online rumors. Amazon is purportedly planning an entry-level tablet, codenamed “Coyote,” with a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip. The other slate, dubbed “Hollywood,” will sport the new “Kal-El” quad-core mobile chip. There are no rumors about screen sizes, storage capacity or other specs for Amazon’s purported tablets, according to Boy Genius Report.
Rumors about Amazon getting into the tablet game have been swirling in recent months after the company announced several Android-friendly services. The company recently released its own app store for Android devices and in late March launched an online music storage service targeted at Android devices. Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos also added more fuel to the Amazon tablet fire when he recently said to “stay tuned” when asked whether his company was working on a one-panel slate.
Nvidia first announced its new quad-core chip for mobile devices in February during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new chips include Nvidia’s new 12-core GeForce GPU, and are capable of displaying 1440p video on a 2560-by-1600 display. The company also claims its new ‘Kal-El’ chips can help deliver up to 12 hours of battery life.
Nvidia told IDG News to expect Nvidia-powered quad-core tablets to hit store shelves in August and quad-core “superphones” should arrive in December.
While most critics believe Amazon is on the verge of producing at least one Android-based tablet there have been precious few rumors about device specs. Current rumors suggest Amazon will use a highly customized version of Android, but it’s not clear whether that might be Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich or another version of Android.
If Amazon can get the hardware right, the company is well placed to become a major mobile device player. Just like Apple’s iTunes, Amazon has a large music and video store, a growing app store, a massive library of e-books, and a large customer database complete with stored credit card information for fast, one-click buying.
That would make Amazon the first serious threat to Apple’s so far unparalleled iTunes-iOS ecosystem. It will be interesting to see what Amazon comes up with if the current rumors turn out to be true.