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Amazon Says ''Stay Tuned'' On Tablet Front

Rumors of an Amazon tablet first cropped up on Engadget founder Peter Rojas’s website. Speaking via a post on his two-year-old gadget-centric social networking site, GDGT, Rojas claimed that the tablet would be an Android device scheduled for launch this summer and that he’s “99 percent certain” Amazon has contracted Samsung to manufacture its tablet. Not too long after, Digitimes reported that Quanta had been contracted to build the device and that production would begin in the second half of the year.

Fueling the fire considerably are a couple of comments Amazon’s Jeff Bezos made during an interview with Consumer Reports. Naturally, CR’s interview touched on the topic of the rumored device, and when it did, Bezos didn’t deny the reports. Instead, he advised readers to ‘stay tuned’ and revealed that if the etailer 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.”

Back in April, Rojas suggested Amazon’s tablet would be kind of like the B&N Nook in that it would feature an Android-based but completely custom OS. He also predicted that Amazon would tightly integrate its own services (music, movies, shopping) into the OS. However, that kind of gadget would definitely not constitute the ‘dedicated reading device’ Bezos and Amazon seem so desperate to preserve. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of device Amazon feels will supplement the Kindle’s functionality without replacing the ‘dedicated reading device’ with something busier.