For several weeks now, rumors have started to swirl about Amazon possibly launching a tablet that could challenge the highly successful iPad. Several sources at PC Magazine claim to have details confirming that Amazon has plans to launch both a 7 and 10-inch Android tablet in the near future. The smaller of the two devices will likely to sell for $349 with the larger one priced at $449.

This will make the new device an attractive option for consumers seeking a value priced tablet. Technology industry experts have criticized Motorola for failing to aggressively price their Xoom tablet which was the first to run on the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system.

While none of the rivals to the iPad has managed to make a sizeable dent in Apple's market share as of yet, Amazon has both the size and the loyal following needed to mount a serious challenge. The only remaining question is whether they will be able to deliver a product that can coax buyers away from the comfort zone of the iPad and the widely accepted iTunes marketplace.

Amazon appears ready for the challenge and looks to have a keen understanding of what makes Apple tick. Over the past several months, Amazon has managed to become a thorn in the side of the Apple marketing team by gaining favor with smartphone users through its "free app of the day".

While free apps are certainly nothing to write home about these days, Amazon isn't giving away just any apps; they are providing users with the hottest and most popular titles that normally sell for as much as several dollars each. This calculated effort has raised customer awareness and quietly announced to the public that iTunes is no longer the only option for apps, music, and other downloadable digital content.

This next generation of Android tablets will likely compete on both price and quality which really sets them apart from what has so far been modest competition at best. The 10-inch version, code-named "Hollywood" is rumored to run on a powerful quad-core Nvidia processor which will likely make it the fastest tablet on the market.

The device will go on sale sometime in the fall; perhaps as early as September. Although limited details about the exact features and specifications of the device are available at this time, Amazon is clearly leaving nothing off the table and making a serious attempt to capture a share of what has proven itself as an incredibly lucrative market.

If everything goes according to plans, Apple may face some legitimate competition going into the holiday season for the first time since they released the original iPad.