Amazon places tablet orders with Quanta

Amazon is close to releasing a tablet which will sit alongside its Kindle ebook reader.

Apparently, the online book seller has placed orders with the notebook maker Quanta.

The gear will have full support from Taiwan-based electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings (EIH) for the touch panels. It’ll be providing its Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, too according to Digitimes.

Amazon wants to flog more than 700,000 units. It’s suspected that Quanta will start shipping by the second half of this year.

The deal will add $3.5 billion to Quanta’s annual revenues in 2011. Of course Quanta is saying nothing on the record, but if the figures are correct then Amazon hopes to have a real contender under its wing.

Quanta is currently also the tablet PC OEM partner of RIM and Sony. It has reportedly also been in contact with Lenovo, hoping to land large orders from the company for that second-generation LePad.

The Kindle is doing well but has not been able to cut the mustard outside North America and Europe.

Thoughts are that Amazon will make the Kindle cheaper to tempt the education and consumer market.