Update: The Amazon Tablet is now a reality. Read more in our detailed Kindle Fire Tablet review.
Back to our original article…
We continue to hear more rumors that an Amazon tablet PC is on the cards. We have already discussed why it seems like a good idea for Amazon to move into the tablet market. But it seems that every day even more arguments in favor of such a move appear.
Updated Sept 2011: We’re excited to hear that not only are Amazon revamping their website to work better for Android tablets, but also that a journalist at TechCrunch has had a hands-on look at the new Amazon tablet. It’s a 7″ touch-screen back-lit slate and the tablet’s release date looks set for November this year. And, if sales are as good as the 5 million expected a ten inch tablet will follow early in 2012.
You can read more here.
Now back to the original post:
Why We Think Amazon Are Creating a Tablet
Whether it will be an upgraded Kindle tablet (akin to the Nook Color) or a more advanced android device remains to be seen. But there are quite a few pointers indicating, that despite Jeff Bezos official line, and Amazon tablet really is being developed:
- The move into cloud computing, which is perfect for any mobile computer.
- The success of Kindle and huge ebook sales. Another device couldn’t hurt.
- The opening of the Amazon Android App store, which provides even more content for tablet users.
- The growth of Lab126. Amazon’s department that combines Kindle development, android work and touch-screen technology.
- Growing competition from the color Nook (a very basic tablet itself) and the iPad.
- The sheer volume of interest in a color Kindle.
- Rumors from Digitimes in Taiwan that Quanta Computer have already been given an order for up to 800,000 tablets, due to start shipping in the latter half of 2011.
- By the latter half of May 2011, Jeff Bezos had been quoted as saying “stay tuned” when questioned about Amazon’s plans to enter the tablet market. This, admittedly is not giving much away, but is a big step away from the usual denial.
- And, in the same week BGR suggested that not one, but two tablets are on the cards; and entry level slate codenamed Coyote, and a high performance model codenamed Hollywood which might just be Amazon’s tablet Kindle for movies.
Why an Amazon Tablet is a Good Idea
You might be forgiven for thinking there really isn’t any point in producing another tablet computer. However, if sales so far are anything to go by it seems that none of the other big names in technology are really going to make any significant headway into the tablet market. Apple was first, and it seems like they will continue to dominate for a good few years yet. Only Amazon can really give us a branded tablet to compete. They have such a large customer base that is already happy with service, pricing and security that they might just be able to convince those of us that wouldn’t part with $800 for an iPad, that an Amazon branded tablet would be worth buying. Key to this working will of course be price. Apple fans are happy to pay a premium for an original Apple product with its styling, and innovation. The rest of us however, might not yet see a real need for a tablet device at all, which is probably why competitors like Samsung are finding it hard to really push sales and still make a profit. If Amazon were to sell us knock down tablets (ideally under $250) we might just go for it, and of course we would then be more than happy to buy all our content from them too.
Amazon Tablet Release Date
Amazon (and Quanta) are saying nothing to confirm or deny rumors of an imminent new tablet computer. But, if past history (and guaranteed Christmas sales) are any indication (along with information from parts manufacturers set to supply Quanta), a release date during the second half of 2011 in time for the fall shopping spree looks likely for the next generation Kindle in tablet form.