In the deepest corners of the Internet exists Digitimes.com, a site of industry news and of questionable rumor fame. It recently reported Amazon plans to launch a tablet device before the year is up. Will it be a Kindle-style 7-inch tablet or will it be an iPad lookalike? Or maybe neither? Speculation follows ...

Digitimes said its sources are reporting Amazon wants to reach 4 million units sold in 2011, with a launch before the holiday season to capitalize on sales. According to Digitimes, the tablet won't just handle books and/or apps -- it will also be designed for movie streaming. So what's Amazon's angle? A movie-streaming tablet? It might not be that plebeian.

Amazon launched its own Android App store not too long ago, and I believe Amazon wants to bring the same fit, finish and polish Apple brought to its App Store with an Amazon tablet. More interesting, however, is Amazon's ability to act as a sole arbiter of all things media for the tablet. Clearly, Amazon has the technical and physical backbone to deploy a movie-streaming service, since it already does it with music, but why take up the task with Netflix and iTunes already doing it?

Again, I think it circles around to emulating Apple. Music, movies, books and a rich app ecosystem exist across all iDevices and will even more so when iCloud launches. For Android lovers, currently there is no ubiquitous and easy-to-use glue that brings all their Android devices and provides a simple singular source for content consumption. There have been fragments (quality as they may be) from various different vendors. If Amazon truly takes on the Apple model, the move not only could be a boost to Android, it also could give Apple some serious competition. I think this is what previous companies have failed to do; they've competed on price point and tech specs, but left the user experience up to Google, which ultimately created a less-compelling product.

That may be a shallow view, but it's hard to point at any other tablet on the market and say it can easily (and beautifully) do everything the iPad can do. The iPad can be simultaneously understood by 7-year-olds and septuagenarians alike. The average user doesn't care about SD expansion cards and 4G LTE chip sets or dual core vs. single core processors. They want their stuff and they want to get at it easy and Amazon may know that better than anyone else.

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