Amazon to challenge Nexus 7, new iPad with five or six new tablets

Amazon looks set to take on the tablet market with a little more gusto as reports emerge that the retail giant is planning to release up to half a dozen new tablets.

Demos Parneros, president of US Stores at Staples, told Reuters that five or six tablet SKUs are set to be introduced, expanding the company’s range significantly beyond the Kindle Fire. Launch dates, prices and other details appear scarce at this stage, though Paneros said the tablets will be different sizes and will include a larger 10in model, similar to the new iPad from Apple.

When contacted, tight-lipped Amazon spokespeople declined to comment on any plans.

However, it is thought the firm is throwing more weight behind tablet production in order to sell more digital goods. Sales of music, books, films and games have helped propel Amazon to the forefront of retail since its formation, but with sales of physical versions of all these products in decline the company will need to generate more digital revenue to remain sustainable.

As is the concern for so many of the major tech players, maintaining a mobile presence is also crucial. "You're seeing the Apple play book recreated by everyone else who wants to play in the mobile device ecosystem. Amazon is the latest entrant," said Niccolo de Masi, chief executive of Glu Mobile, which develops mobile games for the Fire.

"The Kindle Fire is off to a great start," he added. "We will be supporting all new devices that have promise. They are trying to build on the foundations they have."

Giordano Contestabile, an executive at mobile games unit PopCap claims, “Amazon will keep working on this path of providing mobile devices and tablet devices… We’re all waiting."