Amazon.com Inc. may offer an e-book subscription service to customers according to a new report.
The Wall Street Journal this week reported that the company is in discussions to offer a digital-book library to Amazon Prime members, which currently pay $79 for expedited shipping and access to Amazon Instant Video content services.
Amazon will offer publishers a fee for participation in the book subscription program, the report added.
The e-book subscription service may be in preparation for a new Kindle tablet to be based on Google Inc.’s Android OS.
The DigiTimes in Aug. said Amazon’s 7-inch tablet PC will be supplied by Quanta Computer and is expected to start shipping this Oct.
Meanwhile, a 10.1-inch tablet to be supplied by Foxconn Electronics will be produced in the first quarter of 2012.
Foxconn currently manufactures the popular Amazon Kindle e-reader.
Forrester Research Inc. this week said Amazon.com Inc. may sell up to five million tablets in the fourth quarter of 2011 should the company market a device at under $300 this fall.
Amazon is expected to enter the tablet market with a product said to be a few hundred dollars less than Apple Inc.’s iPad. It is expected to utilize Google Inc.’s Android OS.
The iPad, which currently dominates the tablet market at 30 million units sold, shipped 9.25 million units in the third quarter of 2011.
Market demand has been fickle for Android-based tablets. Products like the XOOM from Motorola Mobility Inc. and the Galaxy Tab from Samsung Group have failed to make a significant dent with consumers due to $400 to $600 price tags.
However, the clearance of HP Co.’s TouchPad device to $99.00 has proven consumers will purchase a tablet if the price is right.