Amazon's Big Tablet to Miss the Holidays

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The only tablet besides the Apple ( AAPL) iPad that really matters this Christmas is Amazon's ( AMZN) Google ( GOOG) Android device, and it will be late.

Amazon's production plans for the 10-inch version of the hotly-anticipated tablet won't go into full swing until the first quarter of next year, according to Taiwan news site DigiTimes, which cites sources in the supply chain.

The report did confirm expectations that Amazon would have its 7-inch tablet, or the super Kindle, ready this fall. But hopes for a two-tablet offering from Amazon this holiday season seem to be dashed.

Still, the 7-inch Amazon tablet looks to be a big hit both as an upgrade for Kindle lovers and at $300 or less; it's a budget-minded alternative to the $500 Apple iPad.

It is possible that Amazon has plans to produce a few 10-inch tablets ahead of the holiday rush and offer pre-orders for the device so it won't miss out entirely on the busy gadget-buying season.

Amazon has been seen as potentially the biggest threat to the iPad's dominance of the tablet category.

With its enormous collection of e-books, music and videos, and the introduction of its new Cloud Drive and network storage services, Amazon is expected to sell the tablets at dirt cheap prices to help prime its digital media sales pump.

Not only does Amazon threaten to take some of Apple's tablet business, a popular Android tablet could also further cut into PC sales, which have already been staggered by the weak economy and growing tablet alternatives.

Amazon isn't alone in its holiday flub.

Apple recently scratched the fall launch of its HD iPad, a higher-priced, higher-resolution version of the touchscreen tablet. And HP ( HPQ) wildly failed for the third time in tablets when it killed the TouchPad as part of a shocking proposed breakup of the company.

Amazon shares were up nearly 2% to $214.35 amid a strong buying session in the broader market Wednesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.

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