Amazon tablet seen aiming to widen e-commerce lead

(Reuters) – Inc (AMZN.O) will launch a tablet computer this year to extend its position as the world’s largest Internet retailer, expand in mobile commerce and sell more digital goods, according to analysts and investors.

Amazon plans to introduce a tablet with a 9-inch screen before October that will run on Google’s (GOOG.O) Android operating system, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter. An Amazon spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Analysts and investors have been expecting a tablet from Amazon for several months. The company’s shares hit a record high earlier in July, partly on optimism about the new device, according to Colin Sebastian, an analyst at R.W. Baird.

“Amazon’s brand, user base, and digital media offering would position a tablet well against some of the other options out there,” Sebastian told Reuters. “Tablet users tend to purchase more digital items than comparable physical items, so Amazon wants more exposure to that.”

Amazon shares rose 1.1 percent to close at $213.50 on Wednesday, leaving them up more than 17 percent so far this year… Read More [via reuters]