The rumors about an Amazon-branded Android tablet are persisting, but the numbers are still on the decline. Originally, the rumors had Amazon shipping between 4 and 5 million tablets
by August or September of this year. Then just over a week ago, supply shortages because of iPad 2 manufacturing lowered that estimate to between 1.5 and 2 million tablets
by Q3 of this year. Now, estimates have been recalibrated again, with DigiTimes putting the number closer to a conservative 1 to 1.2 million tablets this year. Of course, even at that rate, Amazon would be the biggest single shipper of tablets behind only Apple in the third quarter of this year.
Apple is ahead by a wide margin with plans to ship between 14 and 15 million tablets in Q3 of this year. But, if the numbers hold true, Amazon would be the second biggest shipper of tablets in Q3, as Acer, Asustek, Samsung, HP, and RIM are all targeting between 750k and 900k tablets each for the quarter. Of course, the Amazon tablet is still a rumor at this point, and has not been officially confirmed by any sources, though Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has hinted at a tablet in the works.
The rumors are still pretty thin, but assuming Amazon does launch a tablet, it will likely be most similar to a Nook Color. It will not be running Honeycomb, nor will it have any of the official Google apps, because Amazon will no doubt be putting their own Appstore on the tablet. And, according to Google rules, forgoing one Google App, in this case the Android Market, means you cannot use any other Google apps including Gmail or Maps. However, compared to the Nook Color, the Amazon Appstore does have a much wider selection of apps, and so will be more of a full fledged tablet experience, and less of an eReader Plus experience. Especially considering the rumors that Amazon will be building in their video streaming service
to the tablet.
Time will tell. But, if Amazon is launching a tablet, we're really hoping for a Mirasol screen, because we're starting to go a little blind around here from reading on LCD screens.