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Rumors suggest Amazon.com to order 1.2 million of its unannounced tablets

by Phil Hornshaw

Amazon.com still hasn’t confirmed any details about a possible tablet coming from the massive online retailer, but tech publication DigiTimes seems pretty convinced that it’ll be released this fall, and that Amazon intends to sell a million of them pretty quickly.

According to a story from PC World, DigiTimes expects Amazon to ship 1.2 million of its yet-unnamed and only hinted-at Android tablet by the end of September, which would give it the biggest order of any tablet on the market in the third quarter other than Apple’s iPad. Here’s a quote from the PC World story:

“Citing unnamed tablet PC component suppliers, Taiwan-based DigiTimes also said that Amazon is expected to demand up to 2 million touch-panel displays from suppliers in the August-September period.”

Up to now, Amazon has been pushing its Kindle e-readers, which feature black-and-white screens and are generally pretty cheap. Not long ago, Amazon even introduced an ad-supported Kindle called Kindle with Special Offers, which brought the price of the e-reader down even more. But rumors of tablets have been swirling for a while, with the latest putting Amazon as working on two different tablets, code named Hollywood and Coyote. “The tech website BGR said the entry-level Coyote would run a dual-core Tegra 2 chip, while the more powerful Hollywood would run a quad-core T30 Kal-El processor with a 500% performance boost over Tegra 2,” PC World writes.

According to DigiTimes’ sources, only the iPad 2 will break a million as far as shipments are concerned. DigiTimes says Apple is ordering 14 million to 15 million iPads for the third quarter of 2011 from supplier Foxconn Electornics; that’s up from about 11 million during the summer. Add that to another 6 million or so tablets from the rest of the market, mostly running Android. DigiTimes says the Motorola Xoom has about 400,000 tabs shipping its way, while HTC is ordering 450,000 HTC Flyers and Dell has 250,000 Dell Streaks coming.

Amazon’s chief competitor for the Kindle right now is Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color tab, which runs Android but is mostly for e-reader purposes. Analysts are split between Amazon coming with a full tablet offering to take on the iPad, and sticking to where it has been much more successful and just improving the Kindle.

Either way, if DigiTimes is right, Amazon intends to bring a lot of whatever it’s cooking up to the market. That makes sense given how successful the Kindle has been, and with Amazon pushing into the Android app market, it wouldn’t be surprising if the retailer has some big plans on the horizon.