Amazon CEO Teases Tablet Plans

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Jeff Bezos is toying with our emotions.

Speaking to Consumer Reports, the Amazon Chief Executive delicately suggested that there’s a tablet in the works. “Stay tuned,” Bezos said when asked directly whether Amazon is making a tablet.

But don’t call it a Kindle killer. Should Amazon launch a tablet, Bezos said, it would be positioned as a supplement to Amazon’s popular e-reader, not a replacement. And it certainly wouldn’t use color E-Ink, which Bezos said “is not ready for prime time … the colors are very pale.”

This is getting out of hand. Everyone knows Amazon is making a tablet. The company already sells Android apps, music, videos and e-books — the very things you’d want to consume on a tablet — and it can use its online store and partnering brick-and-mortar retailers for distribution. Gdgt’s Peter Rojas called the Amazon tablet an “open secret,” and said that Samsung is the manufacturer.

And yet, I can’t really fault Amazon for staying quiet if the tablet’s not ready. Tech vendors have developed a nasty habit for revealing their products way ahead of time, killing any enthusiasm they might’ve drummed up by making an announcement closer to launch. No need to spill the beans if there’s nothing to be spilled.

But please, no more cheap suspense. We’re already tuned in.