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Kindle Fire: Amazon to launch tablet this week

Retailer to take on Apple’s iPad with Android-based product that will receive full release in November, say reports

Amazon is to go head to head with the iPad on Wednesday when it launches its own tablet device, which it hopes will loosen Apple’s stranglehold on the market.

The online retailer will unveil the tablet in New York, reportedly calling it Kindle Fire to tie in with its existing ebook reader.

Amazon hopes its brand recognition and loyal book-buying customer base will enable it to do battle with Apple, which produced 75% of the tablets sold this year.

Research firm Forrester reckons the Kindle tablet could sell between 3m and 5m units in its first year.

The Kindle Fire will receive a full release in the second week of November seeking to target the important Christmas market, reports the technology website TechCrunch.

The tech site, which has seen the tablet, says it sports a colour touchscreen and looks like the BlackBerry PlayBook. Like the iPad, has no physical buttons on its surface.

TechCrunch says Kindle Fire will be a 7-inch tablet with a 0 price tag. The initial version will offer wireless functionality but no 3G; it will also have a USB port and speakers, but no camera. A bigger, more expensive model will launch next year. © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds