The report, which said that the device would not be available for sale until early November, came two days before a scheduled press event where Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos is expected to unveil the table computer for the first time.
Amazon announced a deal Monday to stream Fox movies and TV shows online, a content deal that could boost Amazon’s tablet as it seeks to build a tightly integrated system that will allow users to consume media, browse the web, shop Amazon’s online store and use the company’s other services.
Amazon has not confirmed that it will announce the new tablet on Wednesday, but rumours of the iPad challenger have been swirling for months.
Though other would-be iPad rivals – the likes of Samsung, HP and RIM – have all failed to take off, analysts see Amazon’s millions of web customers and its streaming media offerings as giving it the best chance yet of denting the iPad’s dominance.
The launch coincides with an analyst report from JP Morgan Chase, which said that Apple has cut back its orders of iPad parts by 25 per cent this quarter, fearing the effect of a global economic slowdown on sales. Nevertheless, analyst Mark Moskowitz repeated earlier forecasts that Apple would sell between 10 million and 12 million iPads in the second half of 2011.
Analysts have predicted sales of between 3 million and 5 million unit in the fourth quarter for Amazon’s new tablet, which is expected to sport a 7-inch screen compared to the 10-inch viewing area of the iPad, but will reportedly sell for 250 dollars, half the price of its larger rival.
Online video rental service Netflix, which recently announced it was splitting its DVD service from its streaming service, also announced a new content deal. The exclusive deal with Dreamworks Animation gives the video provider the online rights from 2013 to many of the studio’s films such as Shrek.
Amazon’s deal means its customers will be able to see movies like Mrs Doubtfire, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Speed, as well as TV shows such as 24, Arrested Development, Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files and The Wonder Years.