Rumour: Amazon used BlackBerry PlayBook as template to 'shortcut' Kindle Fire development

Both made by ODM Quanta

Rumour: Amazon used BlackBerry PlayBook as template to 'shortcut' Kindle Fire development
Few companies would look for any association with BlackBerry's PlayBook at the moment: shipments of RIM's debut tablet more than halved during the last quarter, coming in at a total of 200,000 units.

A report by gdgt, however, suggests one of the reasons Amazon's Android tablet has made the transition from concept to (near) reality in such quick fashion is because its core is anything but original.

Fuelling the fire

The website cites unnamed sources who claim the tablet – which has recently been dubbed Kindle Fire – is essentially a modified PlayBook.

The firm's Kindle department was reportedly unwilling to develop a tablet in its own right – choosing instead to focus their attention on 'next-gen E-Ink based devices' - so Amazon looked to pick up a device off the shelf.

However, unlike retailer GameStop, which recently revealed it will simply re-brand an existing Android tablet with its own colours, Amazon turned to PlayBook's manufacturer Quanta, who - according to gtgt co-under Ryan Block - helped the company "shortcut the development process" by using RIM's device as a template.

Starting with a stopgap

"Of course, it's never quite that simple, and as I'm told Amazon ran into trouble, and eventually sacrifices were made - like using a slower processor," adds Block.

"Although Amazon did refresh the ID of their PlayBook derivative, I'm told that this first tablet of theirs is 'supposed to be pretty poor' and is a 'stopgap' in order to get a tablet out the door for the 2011 holiday season."

Quanta is likely to be grateful of the business. Owing to PlayBook's slow take up - amongst other issues - it's been reported by DigiTimes that the firm is about to let 1,000 workers go from its production lines in Taiwan.

[source: gdgt]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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