This last month or so, the biggest tablet news by far has been the fact that Amazon is about to leap into the market.
And as we near the anticipated launch date of Amazon’s tablet – October or November – more concrete details are beginning to emerge. Such as a guy from TechCrunch who has actually used the device.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t allowed to post any pics, but apparently the slate is quite similar in form factor to Rim’s PlayBook. It’s a 7 inch tablet, and it’s simply going to be called the Kindle Tablet to build on Amazon’s existing brand strength there.
We’d anticipated that the device would be priced between the $200 and $300 mark, and the article revealed that it will actually be pitched at $250.
Amazon will be selling at a loss to establish itself in the market, and this is the most worrying development for Apple in terms of the iPad’s current dominance.
We’ve always said price is the line to attack the iPad on, and although there have been some cheaper budget tablets out this year, the problem is they’ve lacked in the quality stakes.
Amazon’s effort, as predicted, has been carefully crafted. While the company has used the Android OS as a base, apparently the Kindle Tablet isn’t recognisable as an Android device.
It’s themed with Amazon brand colours, and a totally customised UI which sounds very slick. It also incorporates all that stuff Amazon has been working on over the last year – the Cloud Player for music, Amazon Appstore, Kindle app for e-reading and so forth.
It seems that the online retailing giant intends for this to be a cloud-reliant device, with only 6GB of storage on board – which also keeps costs down, of course. There may be an SD slot to expand the memory, though.
Again, wi-fi only is expected to keep those costs down, as is a single core, not dual-core, processor – and as we’ve previously speculated, there’s no camera.
Apple should likely start to feel the heat from this move, as Amazon is planning to get some 3 to 5 million tablets shipped in the final quarter of this year. And demand could potentially snowball from there, particularly if the device is well reviewed and received.
Analyst predictions are that by 2014, Android tablets will have caught up with the iPad, more or less, and Amazon is likely to be a big part of that equation.