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Amazon to debut LCD tablet to compete with Apple's iPad later this year

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Rumors continue to swirl about a new touchscreen tablet from Amazon with a full color LCD screen, with the latest report stating the device is set to launch and take on Apple's iPad in 2011.

Amazon recently placed orders with Quanta Computer, and also has plans to partner with E-Ink Holdings for its forthcoming touchscreen tablet, Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported Tuesday. The new device is expected to have an LCD touch panel display with fringe field switching technology.

The device is expected to begin shipping in the second half of 2011, with the initial order pegged at between 700,000 and 800,000. The device would be a shift from the current e-ink based Amazon Kindle, which offers long battery life but displays in black and white.

Sources reportedly said that the Kindle still has strong sales, but Amazon has had trouble finding success with the device in markets outside of North America and Europe. The retailer reportedly plans to reduce the Kindle's price to attract demand from the education and consumer market, and its forthcoming tablet PC will leverage its software and content to take on Apple and the iPad 2.

Amazon recently reduced the price of its e-ink-based Kindle with a new ad-supported model that sells for $114. The device comes with a $25 discount in exchange for ads being displayed on the bottom of the home screen and screensaver.



In March, Amazon began courting developers on Apple's iOS platform, which powers the iPad, to begin making applications for Kindle. While the Kindle is more of a single-purpose device focused on reading, Amazon is said to be interested in selling a more multi-purpose unit, like the iPad, that could play music, movies, and other content sold by the retailer.

Rumors of Amazon's tablet persist as two other companies, Barnes & Noble and Lenovo, are have set their sights directly on the iPad. Barnes & Noble's Nook Color was recently updated to support applications for Android and carries a low $249 price, while Lenovo's forthcoming tablet is said to sport Android 3.0 and an iPad-matching $499 starting price.
post #2 of 45
Good luck with that...don't forget to include excellent software!
post #3 of 45
amazon actually gets retail and customers. i see A LOT of kindles in NYC

android tablet with the amazon app store would probably sell well. i bet better than motorola and the others who keep running to the carriers
post #4 of 45
Bring it on Amazon. The better with more competition.
post #5 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Amazon has had trouble finding success with the device in markets outside of North America and Europe

Nice spin. Maybe it has something to do with Kindle not being sold by Amazon on their online stores in the two countries outside North America and Europe where they operate - Japan and China.
post #6 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

Bring it on Amazon. The better with more competition.

Companies wanting a piece of the iPad pie and lamely producing sub-iPad tablets that are nothing more than cheap lower quality copies are not " competition". They are leeches. They bring nothing new in the experience, the ecosystem, the hardware or the tablets outlook for the future.
No matter how you spin it Amazon, B&N and almost ALL OTHER tablets bring NOTHING new or better.
post #7 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amazon recently reduced the price of its e-ink-based Kindle with a new ad-supported model that sells for $114. The device comes with a $25 discount in exchange for ads being displayed on the bottom of the home screen and screensaver.



[/c]

Oh god this sounds like death.

Can I get my next super thin LCD 3d tv for cheap if it always plays ads when im not watching movies??? Now that would make a classy house haha
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post #8 of 45
This move was completely expected and should do well for Amazon.

They have the ecosystem and most of the content Apple does. Now lets see how they repackage Android apps to make their tablet the best option for Android users.

There is talk or Pixel Qi displays but from what Ive seen the color video simply won’t curt it on those panels so I think they’ll have to go with a proper high-viewing angle LCD.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #9 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Companies wanting a piece of the iPad pie and lamely producing sub-iPad tablets that are nothing more than cheap lower quality copies are not " competition". They are leeches. They bring nothing new in the experience, the ecosystem, the hardware or the tablets outlook for the future.
No matter how you spin it Amazon, B&N and almost ALL OTHER tablets bring NOTHING new or better.

what do you expect?

internet, email, apps, ebook reader

is there something magical about my ipad 2 that i don't know about? ARM SoC, off the shelf GPU, screen ,etc
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkalu View Post

Bring it on Amazon. The better with more competition.

A common misconception, that competition "makes things better", but, as we all know, it doesn't necessarily. Sometimes it just makes them cheaper and crappier, like PCs, for example.
post #11 of 45
Wow, the writing meets the wall...
And Amazon has read it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #12 of 45
Actually, I was hoping for an improved e-Ink Kindle 4 someday, but if the next Kindle is a backlit Android tablet, I'm going to keep the Kindle 2.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #13 of 45
I hope, for Amazon's sake, they don't even try to compete with the iPad.

They should focus on areas where Apple do not want to go, and where they could build on their current strengths.

High information, low bandwidth - perhaps adding news, email, contacts, calendar, task management app. Perhaps using bluetooth to access a user's relatively dumb but 3G enabled cheap-phone. All software custom-built, 100% integrated, on-the-fly encryption and compression.

So the device is cheap, data-bandwidth is cheap, but the information value is high.
(If I drop my iPhone, I flinch - but I take my nano to the gym, the beach etc. If I lose it, I replace it, no sweat.)

I don't know, but they should be trying to use their constrictions as strategic strengths to go to places that Apple will not and for heaven's sake do not try to make a full-colour, multimedia, game-playing, app-store-supported slate.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #14 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Rumors continue to swirl about a new touchscreen tablet from Amazon with a full color LCD screen, with the latest report stating the device is set to launch and take on Apple's iPad in 2011. ...

The only really interesting thing about this is whether or not they actually fork Android to do it.

That would be fantastic in that it would give Amazon a better tablet and kind of screw over Google at the same time.
post #15 of 45
Some amount of reduction in battery life compared to current Kindle may be acceptable, but I sure do hope the new one isn't bigger/heavier...

Also, there's some kind of math discrepancy going on with the DigiTimes article: They first claim that the new will start shipping in 2H2011 with extpected volume of 700-800K units per month during the peak season, and then say that the new product is expected to contribute $3.5B to Quanta's revenue in 2011? Even assuming that the peak monthly volume of 800K units is sustained for all 6 months in the second half of 2011, $3.5B translates to $729 revenue per unit to Quanta, which is completely unrealistic...
post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

what do you expect?

internet, email, apps, ebook reader

is there something magical about my ipad 2 that i don't know about? ARM SoC, off the shelf GPU, screen ,etc

You seem to be trying hard to imply that the iPad is a generic device using off the shelf parts, but you know it isn't.

The SoC, the GPU(s) and the way they are wired together is extremely customised. Apple's iPad 2 beats the socks off of other tablets with the same basic ARM processor even those running at faster speeds. The battery technology is similarly unique and patented.

If Amazon makes a tablet it will likely be smaller, get relatively worse battery life and if they don't skin it or fork it, will have that horrible Honeycomb UI. I say "horrible" because it will be given the fact that Amazon's main customer base for Kindle is seniors who don't understand computers, don't want to, and don't want to "manage their widgets" at all. It will also be heavier and more expensive than the previous Kindle.

Personally I have little faith in the idea succeeding. One thing that would be essential to such a device (that Amazon has shown itself to be particularly bad at), is UI design.

Amazon's website is a confusing rabbit warren of crap, why would a tablet from them be any better?And how can a company that hasn't even made it's first iPad app for it's own services, is supposed to design a whole UI for tablets that bests Apple, HP, and Google's UI ideas is beyond me. They have zero experience in this area.
post #17 of 45
The challenge for Amazon will be capitalizing on their tablet.
The success of the kindle is largely due to the fact that Amazon sells it (essentially as) a loss leader.

I highly doubt a mixed use tablet with multiple options to buy apps will allow Amazon to sell this tablet at such a low cost that it will undercut Apples market lead.
post #18 of 45
From a tech perspective, it makes some sense. Amazon already has a marketplace for books, music, movies/TV, a cloud-based music repository (that they did without the blessing of the industry) and an Android app marketplace. They have a robust (well - when it doesn't crash), global infrastructure that includes billing mechanisms. So, technically speaking, they have all the elements necessary to compete with Apple with a tablet.

That said, if I were Amazon, I'd sooner partner with some other company to build a tightly integrated tablet experience. That would leverage Amazon's marketplace capabilities (including hardware sales/distribution) with the actual hardware development coming from some other big industry name.

I'm not sure if it'll be "too little, too late" for Amazon, but out of anyone else out there, they do have all the other marketplace expertise in place already. The big question is how will Amazon distinguish themselves from Apple. You can't win by introducing another "me too" product.



--DotComCTO
post #19 of 45
So all of the sudden the LCD screen is ok in the sun for Amazon? lol they're too funny.
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post #20 of 45
I honestly have no idea how this tablet will turn out. However, I just played with a co-workers HTC G2, an Android. The build quality was horrible. I was afraid I was going to break it. An iPhone feels solid. She also has a Nook. Same issue. The build quality is poor compared to Apple products. Further, connecting to the Internet was possible but super slow.
post #21 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

amazon actually gets retail and customers. i see A LOT of kindles in NYC

android tablet with the amazon app store would probably sell well. i bet better than motorola and the others who keep running to the carriers

I don't see a lot of them here, but I do see them every so often. A year ago, I had only seen two. Since then, I've seen a half dozen. I'm seeing just a bit more iPads here.
post #22 of 45
The secret is to include a USB port and software that utilizes that port.

It can be an incredible diagnostic and creative piece of hardware then.
post #23 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Nice spin. Maybe it has something to do with Kindle not being sold by Amazon on their online stores in the two countries outside North America and Europe where they operate - Japan and China.

It's advertised all over London. You can't go anywhere without seeing an Ad for the Kindle. So yes, it's on sale outside of the US, and being advertised heavily. I was told while I was there that it's advertised not only all over the UK, but in many places in Europe as well.

But it sells for much more there. Including VAT, before VAT went up to 20%, it was advertised for £139 for the WiFi only version. That's $229 here. That's a good reason why it isn't selling well. People here complain about the price of Macs in the UK, but some other devices have an even bigger mark-up.
post #24 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

This move was completely expected and should do well for Amazon.

They have the ecosystem and most of the content Apple does. Now lets see how they repackage Android apps to make their tablet the best option for Android users.

There is talk or Pixel Qi displays but from what Ive seen the color video simply won’t curt it on those panels so I think they’ll have to go with a proper high-viewing angle LCD.

Other than Google itself, Amazon is likely the only other company that would have a chance with this. None of the others have any ecosystem at all.

The Qi displays are REALLY bad. I've seen several at industry demo's. I don't know if anyone remembers the old LCD days before backlighting, when there were LCD's with a gold background, and a bluish color for the characters. The Qi displays remind me of those. The color is similar to the color of the characters of the old displays. The blue isn't much better, and the red and green are also somewhat metallic, or plastic appearing, and very undersaturated, while the background is darkish. It's difficult to describe exactly, but it's got a while to go, though the last version I saw a couple of months ago looked better than what I had seen last year.
post #25 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

what do you expect?

internet, email, apps, ebook reader

is there something magical about my ipad 2 that i don't know about? ARM SoC, off the shelf GPU, screen ,etc

Perhaps you haven't read the reviews of the iPad 2, or those for the Xoom or Playbook. If you had, and please don't say that you have, because that would make what you say unbelievable, you would see that the iPad is the only current tablet that's working the way it should, and that it blows all these other tablets out of the water as far as performance goes.

The Tegra 2 chip, which was being touted as the best SoC this side of the universe before the iPad 2 was tested, has turned out to be a mediocre performer. Since all the current, and apparently, all the tablets coming out this summer, use this SoC, none of them will compare to the performance of the iPad 2.
post #26 of 45
If they have any brains, it will run Android. To create a whole new OS, and have to start up yet another pool of app developers from scratch would be expensive, time consuming and probably doomed to failure...

Regarding an ad-based Kindle....
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Oh god this sounds like death.

Can I get my next super thin LCD 3d tv for cheap if it always plays ads when im not watching movies??? Now that would make a classy house haha

I assume they're not going to stop selling the non-ad model (at the higher price.)

I seem to remember reading that in Asian countries, people are more inclined (compared to Americans) to accept discounted hardware that is ad-sponsored. But I think even for them, $25 won't be enough of a discount to make it worthwhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

So all of the sudden the LCD screen is ok in the sun for Amazon? lol they're too funny.

It's not like they have a choice. Digital paper is great for reading books, but it's worthless for anything more interactive, like running apps.

I would hope they'd do something like what Barnes & Noble did with their "nook" - offer a color LCD model (marketed as an app platform) and a digital-paper model (marketed strictly as a book reader.)
post #27 of 45
This guy was sitting next to me on the subway a few days ago and he was reading his kindle. That was the first time that I'd actually seen one up close and I wasn't that impressed to be honest. Maybe the kindle is good for using in sunlight, but inside a train, the screen didn't seem that great and it was kind of small. The keyboard on the bottom of the device seems kind of dumb and useless, since the purpose of the device is to read.

The Kindle can only do one thing, while the iPad can do a million different things. I'm not surprised that Amazon also wants to jump on the "me too" bandwagon and release their own real tablet just like every other copycat company out there.

No individual tablet released by anybody even deserves to be called a competitor, let alone an "iPad Killer". The only slaughtering and killing that is going on is by Apple and the list of victims will only grow bigger. Apple is going to have to expand the size of it's morgue. The tech press is like the boy who cried wolf, every week there's a new "iPad KIller", only to be forgotten a short time afterwards and replaced by the next contender.
post #28 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Fix View Post

The secret is to include a USB port and software that utilizes that port.

It can be an incredible diagnostic and creative piece of hardware then.

USB is an interesting question. A lot of iPads sell to businesses. It's been said that almost half the sales have been to business and governments around the world. In articles in Computerworld, Infoworld, Fortune, and some others, it seems that one of the things they like about the iPad, for security, is the LACK of a full spec USB port. USB ports are considered, with the growth of USB sticks, to be the biggest threat to physical data security. I know that it can be said that people could just steal the iPad, it being so small and lightweight and all. But data thieves, especially those who are working in a company, don't want to take the item, they just want to take the data. It's harder to figure out who may have done that. It's also much less likely that the theft will be noticed than if the device is missing.
post #29 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It's advertised all over London. You can't go anywhere without seeing an Ad for the Kindle. So yes, it's on sale outside of the US, and being advertised heavily. I was told while I was there that it's advertised not only all over the UK, but in many places in Europe as well.

But it sells for much more there. Including VAT, before VAT went up to 20%, it was advertised for £139 for the WiFi only version. That's $229 here. That's a good reason why it isn't selling well. People here complain about the price of Macs in the UK, but some other devices have an even bigger mark-up.

Maybe you need to read the article and my comment again. AI tried to claim that Kindle isn't selling well outside of Europe and North America, but didn't mention that it isn't actually officially on sale there.

It's £111 in the UK, just in case you were wondering. Before the VAT increase it was £109.
post #30 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Maybe you need to read the article and my comment again. AI tried to claim that Kindle isn't selling well outside of Europe and North America, but didn't mention that it isn't actually officially on sale there.

It's £111 in the UK, just in case you were wondering. Before the VAT increase it was £109.

Then it's dropped in price a good deal since the summer, because it wasn't selling well as I was told when last there.

I know what the article said. I was commenting that the price there is too high, and wasn't selling so well there either. Even with that new lower price, it's still too high. Is that the Ad supported version, or the regular one? It still comes out to $188. Way too high for what it is.
post #31 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Then it's dropped in price a good deal since the summer, because it wasn't selling well as I was told when last there.

In that case, I don't know where you were shopping while you were here. The only Kindle device that has been on sale here (without ordering from Amazon.com and having it shipped from the USA) is Kindle 3 and it was always £109, rising to £111 with the VAT increase.

They haven't released the ad-supported version here at all.
post #32 of 45
What is it going to take for one of these "iPad Killers" to gain traction? Is it all about the ecosystem? Is the only thing that will chip away at Apple's market share going to be a whole bunch of different companies selling a low volume of mediocre devices......purchased solely by Apple haters/open OS lovers?

Why does Apple bashing and trolling make people feel so good?

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post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

In that case, I don't know where you were shopping while you were here. The only Kindle device that has been on sale here (without ordering from Amazon.com and having it shipped from the USA) is Kindle 3 and it was always £109, rising to £111 with the VAT increase.

They haven't released the ad-supported version here at all.

No, it was not. It was £139. I saw that plastered all over the Underground, the busses, and just about everywhere else. I asked some people I was with, and they said it wasn't selling too well, and that the price was well over what they would pay for it. I've noted that price right after I got back, on these forums in some discussions. I don't know where you got that price from.
post #34 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

amazon actually gets retail and customers. i see A LOT of kindles in NYC

Yes. (Less likely to get stolen on a subway than an iPad I suppose.)

I could really see B&N and Amazon cleaning up at the low end of the tablet market. That wouldn't hurt Apple much, since they don't want to make Kindle-level products anyway. And I could see people getting their feet wet on the lowest-end Kindle, then moving up to an iPad somewhere down the road. I don't think the old Kindle or Nook (or whatever's coming) gets tossed at that point, either, as long as it functions.

More choice for the consumer.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No, it was not. It was £139. I saw that plastered all over the Underground, the busses, and just about everywhere else. I asked some people I was with, and they said it wasn't selling too well, and that the price was well over what they would pay for it. I've noted that price right after I got back, on these forums in some discussions. I don't know where you got that price from.

Amazon press release from last summer showing £109 price. It was $139 in the USA.

I'm surprised that your friends were able to give such a definitive answer about sales last summer, given that it only went on sale in late August.
post #36 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sipadan View Post

Companies wanting a piece of the iPad pie and lamely producing sub-iPad tablets that are nothing more than cheap lower quality copies are not " competition". They are leeches. They bring nothing new in the experience, the ecosystem, the hardware or the tablets outlook for the future.
No matter how you spin it Amazon, B&N and almost ALL OTHER tablets bring NOTHING new or better.

Amen to that!
I can't wait to start a small business using the ipad and the iphone. Those two devices have created a tech paradigm shift we haven't seen since the invention of the automobile.
post #37 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

If Amazon makes a tablet it will likely be smaller, get relatively worse battery life and if they don't skin it or fork it, will have that horrible Honeycomb UI. I say "horrible" because it will be given the fact that Amazon's main customer base for Kindle is seniors who don't understand computers, don't want to, and don't want to "manage their widgets" at all. It will also be heavier and more expensive than the previous Kindle.

This is a fact? I've never seen a senior use one. I do see lots on my commute though.

I don't think Amazon will launch an Andriod tablet under the 'Kindle' brand. E-readers and tablets are different things with a different purpose (as if the price isn't a big enough clue).
post #38 of 45
Proud Kindle 3 owner and and definitely interested in buying one of these things if it has duel lcd/eink capability. I originally thought I would do all my future reading through iBooks but (other than the poor selection) sometimes I just want to tune your eyes away from LCD screens all day heh.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Oh god this sounds like death.

Can I get my next super thin LCD 3d tv for cheap if it always plays ads when im not watching movies??? Now that would make a classy house haha

Good job writting about what you don't understand. The ads do not appear while you are reading. haha.
post #40 of 45
For what it's with I was in a China recently and a friend there said they don't sell the Kindle in China, she didnt know what it was. I showed her a photo from google and told her what it does, she said it would never sell in China. Reason is people in China dont want a device for only reading, they want something like an iPad for games, Internet, apps, video, etc. Chinese in her opinion dont like to read like that (Kindle). That's why the iPad will succeed there (games, apps, etc.). This goes along with the article saying the kindle has weak to no sales outside of USA and Europe. I also went to Japan and never saw a kindle not sure if it's sold there, but I never seen one. IMO many Asians love Apple and this Kindle will fail there (although I did see quite a fee Android phones and Android posters in Japan).
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