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Amazon.com – which is expected to launch its own under $300 10″ tablet in the fourth quarter – could sell between 3 million and 5 million units in the quarter if it gets the price right, says a report by Forrester Research. The tablet will be available to Australians.That would make it easily the No. 1 tablet vendor provider on the Google platform, Forrester says – but it would still trail a long way behind Apple, which has been selling around 9-10 million iPads each quarter, despite being constricted by component supplies.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is expected to introduce a tablet based on Google’s Android “Honeycomb” operating system in October. It will have the advantage of its huge market of registered online customers and a worldwide delivery system. It would not have to work through retail chains.

It would be able to sell applications from its Android Appstore; movies (in the US) through Amazon Instant Video and MP3 music downloads supported by its Amazon Cloud Player storage service.

Forrester analyst Sarah Epps said for the tablet to meet its targets, Amazon would have to price the basic model under US$300 – Apple’s iPad starts at $499 in the USA – and make sure that it has enough devices to meet consumer demand.

Amazon’s willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure and commerce assets makes it the only credible iPad competitor in the market, Epps said.

Her report comes two weeks after Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin said the Amazon tablet might cost $300 to make, but Amazon would probably discount it by $50.

Amazon could make up the difference in movie rentals, music downloads, Kindle book sales, other application purchases and advertising, Bajarin added.

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