File this one under unsubstantiated rumor. A friend of the site recently shared a flight with a highly placed Amazon employee, or so he said. He also had a few things to say about Amazon’s upcoming tablet. Most notably that it features two displays: e-Ink on one side, color LCD on the other. And he seemed quite clear that this is front and back, versus the stacked displays seen on the original Barnes & Noble Nook or a dual mode screen, à la Pixel Qi. Which sounds pretty far fetched… How thick would the device have to be to support two screens and reasonable battery life? Also, beyond the Nintendo DS line, dual screen devices haven’t fared well. (Anyone remember the Samsung UpStage? I labeled it schizophrenic.)
Additionally this Amazon tablet, which wasn’t referred to as the Kindle 4, will be powered by Android and incorporates a clever case design that keeps the screens protected. Our source had no knowledge of pricing, but a design such as this would be hard pressed to keep pace with the $200 – $250 Nook Color. Unless Amazon subsidizes the tablet, hoping to recoup costs via app and book sales. Regarding timing, Amazon’s slate was expected to ship this month with a freedom-themed ad campaign to coincide with Independence Day. However, as the story goes, display shortages have delayed launch into August.