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Is Amazon launching a Kindle tablet? E-book rentals?

September 26, 2011 |  9:18 am

Amazon media event invitatione

Amazon.com is set to host a media event on Wednesday morning in New York City, and the expectation is that the world's largest online retailer will be unveiling its long-rumored Google Android-based Kindle tablet.

On Monday, Amazon announced a beefing-up of its Amazon Prime service, with the addition of more than 11,000 older movies and TV shows from Fox added to the catalog. Among the newly added titles are shows such as "Arrested Development," "The X-Files" and "24," as well as films such as "Office Space," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

The move is aimed at bolstering the appeal of Amazon Prime, which offers online streaming of a catalog of TV shows and movies to those who pay a the $79.99 annual fee, which also gives subscribers free two-day shipping from Amazon.

Rumors have also been circulating that with the release of the Amazon tablet, the company could add an e-book rental service to Amazon Prime as well.

The Amazon tablet, which is expected to carry the Kindle name used on the Seattle-based company's e-readers thus far, is rumored to cost about $250 and feature a 7-inch touchscreen, which would make it smaller and about half the price of an entry-level Apple iPad, the current tablet sales leader.

Of course, the Amazon tablet is expected to be integrated with Amazon's services, such as Amazon Prime for shopping and streaming, Kindle for books, its MP3 store and Cloud Player for music, and its Amazon Appstore for Android for apps.

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Amazon.com could sell 3 million to 5 million tablets in 2011, analyst says

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Twitter.com/nateog

Image: An invitation to Amazon's media event. Credit: Amazon.com

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