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Amazon boss says "stay tuned" for rumored tablet release

post #1 of 27
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview this week to "stay tuned" on the company's plans for a possible tablet device that would likely supplement, rather than replace, the company's Kindle e-reader.

After Consumer Reports asked Bezos earlier this week about the possibility of a multipurpose tablet device from Amazon, the CEO cryptically answered "stay tuned," prompting further speculation that the company has an iPad challenger in the works. Such a device, however, would be sold alongside the successful Kindle e-reader.

We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device, he said. In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldnt answer.

In response to a separate question from "a visiting retail reporter" about the rumored Amazon tablet, Bezos said "I hate the term 'kill.' as in one device killing another in the marketplace."

During the interview, the CEO quashed rumors that a color-screen Amazon device using e-ink technology will arrive anytime soon. Color e-ink "is not ready for prime timethe colors are very pale, he said, though he did add that it continues to be improved.

Earlier this month, rumors surrounding a full color LCD touchscreen tablet from Amazon made headlines. The online retailer has reportedly placed orders with Quanta Computer and is expected to begin shipping the device in the second half of 2011.

Developers began reporting in March that Amazon was courting them to port their apps from iOS to the Kindle platform, possibly providing further evidence that Kindle has a multipurpose device in the works.

Amazon recently dropped the price of the Kindle by $25 with a new model that features "special offers and sponsored screensavers."



Rival bookseller Barnes & Noble may also have a multipurpose tablet in the works. According to a recent SEC filing, the company plans to announce "a new eReader device" on May 24. Barnes & Noble has begun moving away from standalone e-readers toward multipurpose tablets in order to compete with the iPad.

Late last month, the company's Nook Color e-reader received an Android-based update intended to add functionality such as email, Adobe Flash support and games.
post #2 of 27
Completely expected, plus I feel if anyone has a chance of upsetting Apple’s mindshare on the tablet and its ecosystem it will be Amazon.
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post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Completely expected, plus I feel if anyone has a chance of upsetting Apples mindshare on the tablet and its ecosystem it will be Amazon.

I agree. It looks like Amazon (and to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble) may bring the most potent challenge to the iPad--I meet people who *love* their Kindles and Nooks--I can't say that about Xooms or Tabs!
I think it would be fascinating if the only other companies nimble and original enough to compete in the tablet arena were not computer companies...
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post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I agree. It looks like Amazon (and to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble) may bring the most potent challenge to the iPad--I meet people who *love* their Kindles and Nooks--I can't say that about Xooms or Tabs!
I think it would be fascinating if the only other companies nimble and original enough to compete in the tablet arena were not computer companies...

It’ll be interesting if the iPad, Kindle and Nook are the 3 most popular tablets on the market.

edit: It’ll be downright hilarious.
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post #5 of 27
I am very happy with my iPad 2 for most things, but would definitely buy a kindle if it was more or less the same as it is now with a touch responsive screen (instead of the awkward keyboard and four way direction control) and it integrated seamlessly with text based web services like Google Reader, Gmail, Twitter etc.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Itll be interesting if the iPad, Kindle and Nook are the 3 most popular tablets on the market.

edit: Itll be downright hilarious.

That would be something all right. Barnes & Noble, I'm sure, sees the Nook as mission critical for their survival. Apple sees it as a primary growth driver, and Amazon just plain knows a good thing when they see it.

That's three companies who are pretty focused and highly motivated to make it work. Microsoft, by comparison, is jerking off. RIM is bitter and clueless. Google is being too cute for its own good. HP can't seem to get out of its own way. And so on down the list.
post #7 of 27
He may as well just said yes. Isn't "stay tuned" admitting something?
post #8 of 27
Wouldn't a little less talk and a little more action be preferable to all the time everyone has spent talking about their iPad challengers?
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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

I am very happy with my iPad 2 for most things, but would definitely buy a kindle if it was more or less the same as it is now with a touch responsive screen (instead of the awkward keyboard and four way direction control) and it integrated seamlessly with text based web services like Google Reader, Gmail, Twitter etc.

That's a lot of "ifs."
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Itll be interesting if the iPad, Kindle and Nook are the 3 most popular tablets on the market.

edit: Itll be downright hilarious.

You forget that the quivering masses are waiting desperately for Microsoft to put Windows on a keyboardless laptop and call it a "tablet"... again. At least, that's what Ballmer said.

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post #11 of 27
It will be an "Android device" but not supported byt he Google eco-system.

1) It will have its own map system. Bing or Map-Quest. BOth are better that Google Maps that is woefully out of date.

2) It will have its own Market place for applications.

3) It will have its own E-Mail client.

4) It will have its own music store.

5) It will use Skyhook for location services.

6) Its search will default to product search on Amazon.

7) It will not get Google's seal of approval.

8) It will cut Google out of almost all revenue.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You forget that the quivering masses are waiting desperately for Microsoft to put Windows on a keyboardless laptop and call it a "tablet"... again. At least, that's what Ballmer said.

Im not counting MS out. Im hoping (read: foolishly optimistic) that from what Ive seen of WP7 they are secretly working on a tablet version of WP7 that they will release only after its ready for primetime, unless what Google did with Honeycomb.

Just like Apple cant d stupid crap like it did with MobileMe like its a small start up, I think MS needs to learn that they since they no longer have mindshare they need to hold their cards close to the vest and only release when they can do it in in an Apple-like way. (I said foolishly optimistic!)
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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

I agree. It looks like Amazon (and to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble) may bring the most potent challenge to the iPad--I meet people who *love* their Kindles and Nooks--I can't say that about Xooms or Tabs!

The Xoom sure didn't come charging out of the gates, but all the issues look fixable and - assuming they are fixed - I think in six months time people will have forgotten about them. It is way to soon to write off Android tablets.
post #14 of 27
Amazon's big weakness will be the fact that they don't control their own hardware. They'll discover that it's not easy to manage a supply and customer chain -- with the quality requirements, along with post-sale customer service -- that a sophisticated product such as the iPad entails.

The Kindle is relatively basic, by comparison.

It's not surprising that a company like Google threw in the towel with a similar attempt -- remember their Android phone disaster that everyone claimed was going to be an 'iPhone killer'?
post #15 of 27
Of course we'll stay tuned. It's entertaining

What we won't do is hold our breath. At least based on industry track record for iPad challengers (let alone iPad killers). I mean, even a sparring partner would be *something*. Right now all that's in the ring are punching bags (Xoom/Tab) and life-size cardboard cutouts of fighters (Kindle).
post #16 of 27
Bring it on Amazon. The more the merrier.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

The Xoom sure didn't come charging out of the gates, but all the issues look fixable and - assuming they are fixed - I think in six months time people will have forgotten about them. It is way to soon to write off Android tablets.

The Xoom may be fixed up and become desirable, but it is still expensive. If people are going to pay that kind of money, they are going to get an iPad--unless they are actively anti-Apple.
I don't think they have the margins to sell much cheaper or the cash to burn to sell at a loss for a while (ah-la X-box)
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post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

If people are going to pay that kind of money, they are going to get an iPad--unless they are actively anti-Apple.

Not necessarily anti-Apple but if you already own an Android phone (and apparently lots of people now do) would you buy an iPad or an Android tablet?
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

It will be an "Android device" but not supported byt he Google eco-system.

1) It will have its own map system. Bing or Map-Quest. BOth are better that Google Maps that is woefully out of date.

2) It will have its own Market place for applications.

3) It will have its own E-Mail client.

4) It will have its own music store.

5) It will use Skyhook for location services.

6) Its search will default to product search on Amazon.

7) It will not get Google's seal of approval.

8) It will cut Google out of almost all revenue.

Good thoughts. It will be interesting and a western example of a potentially serious fork in the Android product as customers perceive it (rather than just the core OS) - like OMS and Tapas are Chinese forks. Another interesting thing is that unlike strugglers like Moto, or big players like Samsung etc. Amazon thrives on crappy, low retail margins. I expect what they are selling to be incredibly competitively priced. Unlike Apple - Amazon does expect to make it up on the back-end sales of apps and content.

One point tho... I imagine many apps will be Admob supported so Google will still get a fair amount of ad revenue even from Google phones.
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Not necessarily anti-Apple but if you already own an Android phone (and apparently lots of people now do) would you buy an iPad or an Android tablet?

Anecdotally, a fair number of the Android phone owners at Engadget seem to be happy to admit that they bought an iPad2 since it was "still the only viable tablet".
Pure anecdote but constantly surprising.
post #21 of 27
I've had my Kindle for almost a year and love it. I got an iPad 2 and love it. For me personally I think the reading experience on the Kindle is fantastic and don't really like reading books in on the iPad. I do think about Amazon needs a little more something something to compete with the nook as a "light" tablet.

I just hope Amazon keeps a version of the Kindle with just e-ink display and no lcd.
post #22 of 27
I really hope, for Amazon's sake, they don't try to compete with the iPad.

They should develop the product they have and build on their strengths, not try to ape Apple.

Lots of people love their Kindles.

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post #23 of 27
Of course they are, I finally caved in and bought a 3G Kindle! Actually I don't care, I bought the Kindle now for fear this new table would replace the current Kindle and the best screen out there for reading. Sure it doesn't do all the fancy iPad stuff, I have an iPhone for that, and because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles I don't get as easily distracted when I sit down to read.
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post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

The Xoom sure didn't come charging out of the gates, but all the issues look fixable and - assuming they are fixed - I think in six months time people will have forgotten about them. It is way to soon to write off Android tablets.

I agree, in six month's time, people will have forgotten about the Xoom.
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Completely expected, plus I feel if anyone has a chance of upsetting Apples mindshare on the tablet and its ecosystem it will be Amazon.

I wouldn't go that far, I'd rate Amazon a complete wildcard. They don't really have any track record to go on, and the Kindle is such a different type of device, more like a non-programmable calculator than a full computer (which tablets ought to be considered), that it doesn't really count as evidence that they can succeed.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Itll be interesting if the iPad, Kindle and Nook are the 3 most popular tablets on the market.

edit: Itll be downright hilarious.

Hey Soli, yes, I totally agree with both sentences. I have no idea what OS Amazon would use, and the Nook is supposedly going with Crapdroid, but it will be interesting to see how these two control their respective ecosystems. Maybe a Google tie-in with one or the other as "most favored partner" would bring some sanity to the Crapdroid universe.

And yes, there would be the top three raking in 80% of profits while the rest scrape the bottom.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Hey Soli, yes, I totally agree with both sentences. I have no idea what OS Amazon would use, and the Nook is supposedly going with Crapdroid, but it will be interesting to see how these two control their respective ecosystems. Maybe a Google tie-in with one or the other as "most favored partner" would bring some sanity to the Crapdroid universe.

And yes, there would be the top three raking in 80% of profits while the rest scrape the bottom.

Considering their push to create an Android app store I think we can safely say they will be using Android.
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