As Google strikes at the Kindle, Amazon preps an Android tablet

It's funny how these things happen. As Google gears up for the launch of the first e-reader based on its eBooks platform—a competitor to Amazon's popular Kindle devices—Amazon itself is reportedly about to embrace Google's Android platform.

The Wall Street Journal quotes "people familiar with the matter" as saying Amazon will introduce this Android tablet some time before October. The device will have a nine-inch display and will purportedly not be designed by Amazon itself. Amazon simply may be outsourcing the industrial design work to a third party, perhaps even the Asian company the Journal says will manufacture it.

There's no word on pricing, although the Journal adds that Amazon is also cooking up some fresh Kindles for a launch this quarter. I'm guessing the company will try to avoid overlap. (Right now, the cheapest Kindle will set you back $139.99.)

On Google's side of the playground, the Irivier Story HD e-reader is due to hit Target stores across the United States on July 17. Google says on its blog that the device is the "first e-reader integrated with the open Google eBooks platform, through which you can buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi." The Story HD looks an awful lot like the $139.99 Kindle, complete with a 6-inch display and a QWERTY keyboard sitting below it. And guess how much Irivier is going to charge for it? That's right: $139.99.

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