Amazon will launch at least two tablet PCs in 2012, with a possibility that the number may increase to four, according to industry sources. Shipments of a 10.1-inch model are expected to begin in July.
For the 10.1-inch model, Amazon has added HannsTouch as a new supplier of touch sensors in addition to Wintek and TPK Holding, while excluding J Touch from the supplier list, revealed the sources, adding that the 10.1-inch model is likely to be priced at US$249-299.
However, a much speculated 8.9-inch model has not been confirmed by Amazon due to the vendor's concerns on pricing, said the sources.
In addition to a 7-inch model that will be priced at about US$199 with shipments to start at the end of the second quarter, Amazon is also soliciting quotes for another 7-inch model to be priced at US$169 for the entry-level segment, indicated the sources, but adding that makers in the supply chain are reluctant to offer quotes for low-margin hardware products.
With its expanding Kindle Fire lineup, Amazon may see its tablet PC shipments reach 20 million units in 2012, a sharp increase from 5-6 million units shipped in 2011, the sources estimated.