Rumour: Amazon to launch iPad rival

Amazon's imminent entry into the Android Apps marketplace has long been the subject of intense speculation, but the latest rumblings from the rumour mill see the online book-seller going way beyond flogging a bit of software.

TechCrunch, which has been at the forefront of the chatter, is now suggesting that Amazon will, in fact, launch its own Android-powered tablet PC device alongside the much-predicted online store.

Apprently, the information regarding the mythical hardware comes from the same source as the store rumours, which have so far proved to be pretty accurate.

Amazon has made no secret of the fact that its succesful Kindle eReaders have whetted the outfit's appetitie for hardware, and the Seattle-based company has been hiring gadget-centric engineers left, right and centre.

If Amazon can leverage its marketing and sales clout to do what it did for the Kindle for a full-functioning tablet PC, then it might just give Apple a run for its money.