Amazon's new Android-based tablet, apparently named the Kindle Fire, is said to be based on the same basic design as RIM's PlayBook, built by the same maker, apart from having a slower processor intended to make it cheaper.
According to a report by Ryan Block of Gdgt, Amazon's forthcoming new Android-based tablet is targeted at the Barnes & Noble Nook Color rather than Apple' s iPad, and is essentially a stopgap offering rushed to make the 2011 holiday buying season.
In order to make that deadline, and to avoid distracting its existing "Lab 126" working on conventional e-ink based Kindle devices, Block said that Amazon worked with Original Design Manufacturer Quanta.
As an ODM, Quanta builds notebooks, netbooks and other devices that are rebranded by other companies. Quanta was the original ODM for the XO-1 notebook aimed at third world markets, and also helped RIM build its PlayBook tablet (depicted below). For Amazon, Block says Quanta used RIM's PlayBook as a design template to quickly bring a tablet device to market. "I'm told Amazon ran into trouble," Block reported, "and eventually sacrifices were made (like using a slower processor)."
Block said the first generation Android Kindle is "supposed to be pretty poor," calling the device a "stopgap" device and part of an effort to "do whatever it takes to get in the game."
As for Android enthusiasts hoping that Amazon's new tablet will rival the iPad, Block wrote, "I wouldn't get my hopes up that this is going to be an iPad-killer -- nor do I think Amazon really intends it to be."