Will an Amazon Tablet Be Based on Android?

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Will an Amazon Tablet Be Based on Android?

This question might seem to be a laugher for many of you who view an Android-based Amazon slate as a foregone conclusion. But remember, the Kindle is Amazon's own device built from the ground up using the Linux kernel. Who is to say we won't see a Kindle OS-based tablet? Still, the presence of the Android Appstore makes it hard to imagine a tablet running on anything but the open-source platform.

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Who Will Manufacture It?

Engadget Co-founder Pete Rojas said Samsung is the maker. That sounds good to us. If this is the case, we expect it to be thin, speedy and sharp-looking. Its sure to be very easy on the eyes with the Amazon brand on the back.

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7-Inch or 10-Inch?

If Amazon and Samsung do produce a tablet, will it be like the 10.1-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 pictured, or the original 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab? Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin said Amazon could launch either. The question, of course, is moot if Samsung launches both.

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Will It Run Android Honeycomb?

Regardless of the size, will it run Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" 3.0, 3.1 or something newer on the tablet branch? It could also run the Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" build or maybe even Ice Cream Sandwich. We wouldn't ask, except for the fact that tablets such as the HTC Evo View 4G are launching with Gingerbread. Not every Android tablet is guaranteed to get Honeycomb.

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WiFi, 3G, or 4G?

Excuse the two-part question, but 1) will the Amazon tablet be WiFi-only, or will it be equipped with 3G or even 4G radios, and 2) what carriers will offer it? Both are fair questions. T-Mobile is rolling out a WiFi-only Galaxy Tab 10.1, while Verizon is selling a 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) Tab 10.1. Our guess is Amazon will offer a ton of tablet choices across as many carriers as it can possibly get to support its machines. We certainly expect Verizon, which is already a cozy partner with Amazon Wireless, will be one of the Amazon tablet distributors.

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No Title

) Content? From the leading e-bookseller, we'd expect nothing less than full-on integration with the Kindle e-bookstore. However, will Amazon also include connectivity to its Amazon Instant Video Store, the Amazon MP3 Music Store and Cloud Player for Android services? If Amazon's goal is indeed to rival Apple in media delivered via a tablet, our answer is-of course.

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What kind of display will the Amazon tablet have? Kindle is known for its black and white display, though that won't do for a multipurpose multimedia device that tablets have come to be known as. Bajarin said Amazon wants to do one that switches between black and white, and color LCD. Good luck with that. We think Amazon should stick to Samsung's sharp screens.

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More Bells and Whistles?

What other bells and whistles will the Amazon tablet have? We expect 1280 by 800 resolution, gyroscope for gaming and several other perks, including stereo speakers. Maybe it could sport a stylus like the HTC Evo View 4G slate with the 3D capabilities of the LG Optimize 3D Pad. Or, perhaps, just the software and content alone will be special-you know, the Amazon bloatware that major Amazon customers will love. Deep integration with Amazon's stores and recommendation engines sound great. It could be a user's personal mobile shopping buddy.

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Here's another big two-part question: 1) How much will it cost? 2) Will Amazon subsidize it with ads the way it is currently doing with its $114 Kindle? Bajarin expects $449 for the 10-inch model and $349 for the 7-inch version. We say a sub-$300, 10-inch machine will really sell well, versus the low-end iPad and iPad 2 at $499. Go for it.

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An iPad 2 Rival?

Few people believe any Android or any other slate stacks up to the iPad and iPad 2. Will Amazon's slate be the first to give the top dog complete competition?

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