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Amazon will lead the charge for iPad-competitor tablets this quarter with plans to build between 1 million and 1.2 million units, the Taiwanese news site Digitimes reports.

The figure is a conservative estimate by Digitimes’ sources within the device manufacturing supply chain, but it’s still a surprising number as it puts Amazon ahead of tablet shipments from Samsung, Acer and Asus. Amazon has a major advantage over competing tablets since it’s an e-retailer giant.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has hinted strongly that the company has tablets in the works, and rumors from the mobile site Boy Genius Report pointed to plans for two powerful tablets. I have an inkling that Amazon is aiming to do more than release yet another bland Android tablet. Most likely, the company is gearing up to compete with Barnes & Noble’s $250 Nook Color, which has been successful due to its tablet-like features and low price.

Digitimes previously reported that Amazon was aiming to ship between 3.5 million and 4 million tablets this year.

Overall shipments of non-iPad tablets will increase to around 7 million units in the third quarter, compared with around 3 to 3.5 million units from the previous quarter, an industry source tells Digitimes. Apple plans to ship between 14 and 15 million iPads this quarter, compared to around 11 million from the last. Overall tablet shipments are expected to be between 21 and 22 million units, compared to around 14 million from the last quarter, the industry source said.


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