We first heard about Amazon's supposed plans for a tablet way back in April. Back then, the rumored release was scheduled for summer. Now we have word that the device may launch in August or September.
The news was first reported by Digitimes, which cites Taiwan-based component makers as the source for the information. These component makers say the timing of launch is to "meet the peak sales period prior to Thanksgiving in the US and the year-end holidays in the US and Europe." They also say that Amazon hopes to sell four million units in 2011 with monthly shipments amounting to between 700,000-800,000 units per month.
Sadly, other than a ball-park release period, these Taiwanese sources shared nothing in the way of specs, so everything is still dark on that front. We also still don't know what Amazon's vision for this device is. Last month, Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos spoke to Consumer Reports about the rumors and advised people to 'stay tuned.' However, he also said that if the company were to release such a device, it would have to be supplementary to its Kindle ereader, as opposed to replacing it completely. Bezos went on to say that Amazon "will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device."
If Amazon does release a tablet, it's believed the company may integrate its own services (streaming, shopping, reading, etc) tightly into a custom-built Android-based OS (similar to the Barnes & Noble Nook).