Amazon Expected to Release Eagerly Anticipated Tablet PC Before End of Summer

Might Apple’s wildly popular iPad finally see substantial competition in the tablet marketplace this year?

If Amazon has its druthers, the foundation of the iPad’s dominance will crack later when the online retail giant introduces a new tablet PC within 60 days.

DigiTimes reported Wednesday that Amazon will “launch models as soon as August-September, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers.”

Amazon will likely make high-quality streaming content – movies and TV programming – available through the tablet or an accompanying subscription-based service.

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, the sources pointed out.

Amazon’s plan for a summer release is smart, particularly since the company wouldn’t want to enter the tablet market in early 2012, a time when Apple will almost certainly be putting the finishing touches on the iPad 3. By then, Amazon may have already developed an entrenched tablet fan base.

For now, few specifics – like cost – are known about the Amazon tablet. But industry analysts believe that dual-core and quad-core models will probably be produced, all of which will run Android.