Rumour: Amazon starting tablet production soon

Talk emanating from key component suppliers in Taiwan are sparking rumours that Amazon is about to push the big green GO button on production of a much predicted full-blown tablet.

Having already pretty much dominated the market for simple e-book readers with its Kindle, the on-line book flogger has long been expected to move into Apple territory with an iPad 2 alternative. Now reports from occasionally accurate Taiwan-based industry mole Digitimes say that a number of local suppliers have taken large orders for touch panels and other components which very much look like the bits and pieces needed to build an iPad opponent.

Notebook builder Quanta has been brought on board to assemble the devices which will use colour touch panels from E Ink Holdings featuring Fringe Field Switching (FFS) LCD technology according to the latest report.

Qaunta is well placed to push Amazon into the soon-to-be-crowded tablet market as it's already building proddable PCs for both Sony and Canadian BlackBerry maker RIM.

If you were planning on buying a Kindle any time soon we'd recommend you hold off for a few weeks, as the introduction of a full-specced colour version will almost certainly see Amazon slashing the price of original monochrome reader.

The report says that Qaunta could be churning out up to 800,000 units a month as soon as June.