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Amazon to take on Apple with own 9-inch Android tablet by holidays

post #1 of 47
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Amazon.com plans to introduce its own brand of tablet computer ahead of the holiday shopping season, a move which is sure to intensify competition with new-found rival Apple.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday that the online retailer plans to base the device around "a roughly nine-inch screen" and Google's Android operating system. It won't, however, design the tablet in-house and will instead be "outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer."

Amazon in recent years has stepped up its efforts to combat Apple's iTunes ecosystem with its own array of digital media stores for musics, videos, digital books and apps. To this end, its new tablet will let customers watch movies, read eBooks and listen to music they purchase or rent from Amazon.com rather than iTunes.

The device, planned for an introduction ahead of October, will reportedly lack at least one feature now found on iPads: a camera. It will also reportedly follow to market two updated versions of Amazon's popular Kindle electronic reader (review) that will arrive sometime during the current third quarter.

Amazon's existing Kindle 3G eBook reader.

"The two new black-and-white Kindle electronic readers will use the same technology as in the previous Kindles, in which the screens mimic the appearance of ink on paper," the Journal said, citing people who have seen the devices. However, one will be a touch screen version while the other will be an improved and more affordable version of the current Kindle.

Amazon, which claims the Kindle is its best-selling product of all time, lowered the price of its ad-sponsored 3G Kindle on Wednesday to $139 from $164. An ad-free version remains price at $189.
post #2 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Amazon, which claims the Kindle is its best-selling product of all time ...

And yet they have never actually published sales figures for it - what on earth is that about?
post #3 of 47
Surprisingly, the guys over at ZDNet predicted a future tablet like this in November of last year, and matching up with this new report pretty well. If the ZD-predicted price ($349) is anywhere near accurate, they may bring a real contender to the market. No camera? No big deal IMHO.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/kin...d-tablet/14416
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post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Surprisingly, the guys over at ZDNet predicted a future tablet like this in November of last year, and matching up with this new report pretty well. If the ZD-predicted price ($349) is anywhere near accurate, they may bring a real contender to the market. No camera? No big deal IMHO.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/kin...d-tablet/14416

It's iPod all over again, everything but the real thing will fail. This product is zuned.
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post #5 of 47
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It's iPod all over again, everything but the real thing will fail. This product is zuned.

If it's a better device than the NookColor, priced under $400 at intro, they may sell a few million of these IMO. The Nook has done well as a basic tablet, and Amazon's offering is reported to be a full-flavored device with full AndroidMarket/Android AppStore access, unlike B&N's heavily curated market.
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post #6 of 47
arghh, i paid too much for my Kindle this year ..should have waited\
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post #7 of 47
Soon as Amazon does this, Microsoft will hit it with a licensing demand. The same as with the Nook. Either Amazon will pay, or it will be involved in a hefty lawsuit with the giant.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

If it's a better device than the NookColor, priced under $400 at intro, they may sell a few million of these IMO. The Nook has done well as a basic tablet, and Amazon's offering is reported to be a full-flavored device with full AndroidMarket/Android AppStore access, unlike B&N's heavily curated market.
post #8 of 47
Because the entire thing is outsourced, I dont have high hopes for it.

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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Surprisingly, the guys over at ZDNet predicted a future tablet like this in November of last year, and matching up with this new report pretty well. If the ZD-predicted price ($349) is anywhere near accurate, they may bring a real contender to the market. No camera? No big deal IMHO.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/kin...d-tablet/14416

Agreed.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It's iPod all over again, everything but the real thing will fail. This product is zuned.

Different situation. The Zune was trying to compete at the same price point as Apple, and MS had no significant retail presence. Amazon has immense retail power and will be shifting a budget tablet. They may well manage to sell a decent amount - if only to the people who would otherwise have bought a netbook.
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Soon as Amazon does this, Microsoft will hit it with a licensing demand. The same as with the Nook. Either Amazon will pay, or it will be involved in a hefty lawsuit with the giant.

Probably. And members here think Google is evil. . .
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post #12 of 47
1) This has been expected and inevitable turn for the Kindle for a couple years now which makes this prediction far from astounding.

2) If anyone can compete with the iPad and it's complex ecosystem it's Amazon, but I fear that even if they do become Apple's biggest sole tablet competitor it will be too late to get a substantial part of the market as the iPad becomes another iPod in market dominance.
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post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) This has been expected and inevitable turn for the Kindle for a couple years now which makes this prediction far from astounding.

2) If anyone can compete with the iPad and it's complex ecosystem it's Amazon, but I fear that even if they do become Apple's biggest sole tablet competitor it will be too late to get a substantial part of the market as the iPad becomes another iPod in market dominance.

IMHO, iPad dominance isn't set in stone yet. Unlike the iPod, tablet competition cropped up pretty quickly, with a widely adopted OS readily available. To be honest I wouldn't be shocked if Apple held only 50-55% of the tablet market by years end.

But I wouldn't be shocked if it were 65-70% either. If the worldwide economy (and the US specifically) begins rolling backwards again, the entire tablet market may under-perform, with lower-priced devices becoming more attractive to Jo Blo consumer.
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post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Because the entire thing is outsourced, I dont have high hopes for it.

Nope... just make it as cheaply as one can get away with.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Surprisingly, the guys over at ZDNet predicted a future tablet like this in November of last year, and matching up with this new report pretty well. If the ZD-predicted price ($349) is anywhere near accurate, they may bring a real contender to the market. No camera? No big deal IMHO.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/perlow/kin...d-tablet/14416

Which was nothing more than a wild guess - as in "let's throw a zillion crazy ideas at the wall and see what sticks".

They said:
"Amazon has all the value-added services that would be necessary in order to launch a mass-market Android device be it a media player like the iPod Touch, a 7-inch slate like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, or even a full-sized 10-inch tablet like the iPad."

So they had no idea if it would be an iPod Touch size, a 7" slate, or a 10" tablet. Big deal.
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Because the entire thing is outsourced, I dont have high hopes for it.

You don't want a rebadged Coby tablet?

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post #17 of 47
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Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

You don't want a rebadged Coby tablet?

I still think they should just rebadge the playbook - we know that RIM has warehouses full of them just gathering dust. Recycling is environmentally friendly!
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

And yet they have never actually published sales figures for it - what on earth is that about?

Exactly.

Just as with the Androd tablet fiction, people are happier not actually knowing.

And the media does little to ask a basic question like you are.
post #19 of 47
Well, let's just see if the reading experience is vastly improved. The way books look with the Kindle app is beyond dull. With some nice licensed typefaces and well-integrated social media, a person would have little problem wanting to read a book on a Kindle tablet.

Or am I being quaint thinking about the reader part too much?
post #20 of 47
i say there's a good chance it's tied (exclusively) to the amazon appstore - and they offer them for damn near free to prime customers.. how many of them will give up netflix streaming in favor of FREE streaming for amazon prime. just wish i could get amazon on the console.

cheap or free to prime customers is potentailly hundreds of thousands of units "sold" on day one.. quite an incentive to port your app..

amazon pad could be THE ipad competitor because they already have the makings of their own ecosystem. something tells me amazon's skin will be classy and elegant as well. hardware outsourced is fine.. but who's writing the software (tweaking android?)
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMHO, iPad dominance isn't set in stone yet. Unlike the iPod, tablet competition cropped up pretty quickly, with a widely adopted OS readily available. To be honest I wouldn't be shocked if Apple held only 50-55% of the tablet market by years end.

But I wouldn't be shocked if it were 65-70% either. If the worldwide economy (and the US specifically) begins rolling backwards again, the entire tablet market may under-perform, with lower-priced devices becoming more attractive to Jo Blo consumer.

I tend to agree. This is different than the iPod because the portable device market has grown a lot since the iPod came about. I think the battle will center on the Eco system in the future. A lot rests on iCloud. Apple may have a seemingly insurmountable hardware lead with top of class software, but they haven't got the connectivity issues of multi device ownership sewn up yet by any means. iTunes and mm leave plenty of room for improvement.
post #22 of 47
So, Amazon is just going to get some Asian company to design the whole thing? Good luck with that. And Android blows.
post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMHO, iPad dominance isn't set in stone yet. Unlike the iPod, tablet competition cropped up pretty quickly, with a widely adopted OS readily available. To be honest I wouldn't be shocked if Apple held only 50-55% of the tablet market by years end.

But I wouldn't be shocked if it were 65-70% either. If the worldwide economy (and the US specifically) begins rolling backwards again, the entire tablet market may under-perform, with lower-priced devices becoming more attractive to Jo Blo consumer.

I'd be stunned. There really aren't many plausible explanations, short of Apple stopping production lines for a couple of months, that would end up putting the iPad at %50.

I'm doubtful that any one company has the manufacturing ability, logistics and access to parts to even come close and even a group of companies aren't going to make much more than fodder in the iPad's wake.

At this point the iPad is suitable for deploying in business environs and Android has a ways to go here.

Amazon's only play here is keeping it cheap thusly it's buyers will be the "I wish I could afford an iPad but this knockoff is $150 less and will have to do" crowd will be the primary buyer.
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post #24 of 47
Amazon ... Sony ... HP ... gee, who's left? oh yeah, Micro-something.

but seriously folks, Amazon's web retail setup an ecosystem does not make. does it have any good non-retail software or hardware (don't Kindle me, please) of its own to fill it out? nope. so it's just another flavor of the Google Android web sphere.

And then will come Sony. now hardware Sony does have. more than anybody. ever try to get it all working together with all those Sony Bravia links, etc.? Sony's software engineers must think we are all robots that can repeat the correct sequence of unique cursor moves flawlessly over and over. Just Works is a foreign concept to Sony (perhaps because the Japanese love ritual?). is there any good Sony software to fill out its hardware framework of an ecosystem? nope. so it too is just another flavor of the Google Android web sphere. hey it's even got Google TV! fits right in.

HP? well it's got printers. but not even the Google sphere.

the communication/information Google web sphere provides the essential ecosystem smartphones need. hence its success. but it is definitely secondary at best for tablets, which are all about content and doing things instead. so all these companies are trying to devise their own half-ass tablet version of what Apple's ecosystem can do, and get you to buy into it exclusively so they can "monetize" you.

so what is the average consumer to do? check out the 10 different flavors of Android tablets plus HP and - well maybe - RIM, and figure out how to mix and match them with third party services and with third party software along with what stuff they already have at home and like to use?

or, if they already have iTunes, even if it's not the only service they use (and 70+% do), just decide that is all too confusing and go buy what they know will Just Work and comes with plenty of good first party content and doing stuff software and (soon more) services that is designed to work together with it. and get right on with having fun.

when it comes to tablets, Android et al ain't an Army. it's a herd of cats.
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Which was nothing more than a wild guess - as in "let's throw a zillion crazy ideas at the wall and see what sticks".

They said:
"Amazon has all the value-added services that would be necessary in order to launch a mass-market Android device be it a media player like the iPod Touch, a 7-inch slate like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, or even a full-sized 10-inch tablet like the iPad."

So they had no idea if it would be an iPod Touch size, a 7" slate, or a 10" tablet. Big deal.

Unless you read page 2. Always helps to read the whole article when commenting on it.
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

Because the entire thing is outsourced, I dont have high hopes for it.

I wouldn't be so sure. In my opinion the biggest problem with the current android tablets is none of the manufacturers know how to sell them. They mention features like they would with a PC like speed and resolution, when users really want to know what it does not how it does it. They want to see examples of apps they can get and be told it has a browser and the email, plus see it working with cool looking animations. Currently nobody but Apple actually shows these things.

Amazon though make Kindles and whatever way you look at it, they are successful. They have great adverts and people buy them, even I wan't one and I don't read books that often. People will see a Amazon tablet and know they can read their kindle books on it, they same as they know the music from their iPod would work on an iPad. That plus a great advert can sell the device. The actual device isn't that important, iPhones and iPads don't really do anything that the others don't, in more cases its the other way round, but people will still pay more for them because Apple are the best at marketing.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by timgriff84 View Post

I wouldn't be so sure. In my opinion the biggest problem with the current android tablets is none of the manufacturers know how to sell them. They mention features like they would with a PC like speed and resolution, when users really want to know what it does not how it does it. They want to see examples of apps they can get and be told it has a browser and the email, plus see it working with cool looking animations. Currently nobody but Apple actually shows these things.

Amazon though make Kindles and whatever way you look at it, they are successful. They have great adverts and people buy them, even I wan't one and I don't read books that often. People will see a Amazon tablet and know they can read their kindle books on it, they same as they know the music from their iPod would work on an iPad. That plus a great advert can sell the device. The actual device isn't that important, iPhones and iPads don't really do anything that the others don't, in more cases its the other way round, but people will still pay more for them because Apple are the best at marketing.

Very well said. While there are other advantages that Apple offers, without their industry-best marketing prowess they'd be seeing nowhere near the success they do.
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post #28 of 47
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Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

Probably. And members here think Google is evil. . .

Microsoft's "evil" is amateur hour compared to Google's "evil". Bill Gates, from video evidence, appears to actually have had a conscience, unlike the psychopaths who run Google.
post #29 of 47
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Microsoft's "evil" is amateur hour compared to Google's "evil". Bill Gates, from video evidence, appears to actually have had a conscience, unlike the psychopaths who run Google.

Bill Gates (who no longer runs MS) seems to have a good heart. I do admire him for his charity and public awareness campaigns. In his life away from Microsoft he looks like a great guy, at least on the outside.

As usual, your researched, clearly stated, and well-supported examples of the Google evil are spot-on. Your addition of the devious and under-handed things that Sergey Brin and Larry Page have done to consumers and the other industry players was just the icing on the cake needed to convince us.

Well done!
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post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

Amazon ... Sony ... HP ... gee, who's left? oh yeah, Micro-something.

You can count Microsoft out. Their insistence that tablets need to run a full-blown desktop OS will ensure their failure (again - they tried this a few years ago and it flopped).
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post #31 of 47
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Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

Microsoft's "evil" is amateur hour compared to Google's "evil". Bill Gates, from video evidence, appears to actually have had a conscience, unlike the psychopaths who run Google.

Amen. Balmer is a psycho too though.
post #32 of 47
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Amen. Balmer is a psycho too though.

Yes, but not psychopathic, and, because he's incompetent, he can't really get his evil on.
post #34 of 47
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Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Which patent?

Presumably the same ones as it is contesting with Motorola

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2011...ft-thumps.html
post #35 of 47
I think it's interesting how quickly the idea of iPad competition (such as it is) has congealed around media consumption, social networks and online shopping.

When the iPad was released the big problem seemed to be that it was "just a big iPod Touch" and as such couldn't serve as a laptop replacement because all it was good for was surfing the web and media consumption.

Now, the big selling point of an Amazon tablet is presumed to be access to their media assets. Does anyone expect an Amazon Android tablet to feature any new, interesting productivity apps? Any new wrinkles on the idea of doing "real work" on a tablet? Or even any fun new apps at all, outside of a possible "exclusive" third party game or something at launch?

Of course not. No one looks to iPod competitors to actually allow you to do more, they just look for something that at least has parity with the iTunes and the App Store with possibly a nice Twitter app or Facebook integration.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to update applications like Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and GarageBand, developers like the Omni Group continue to concentrate on ever more powerful versions of things like Omnigraffle and OmniGraphSketcher and things like SketchBook Pro for iPad remain iOS only.

It seems to me the productivity gap is ever widening, whatever else you might think of a given iPad wannabe, and that Android tablets are stuck on media consumption, social networking and surfing. Naturally, the same folks who dismissed the iPad for those very aspects will be quick to champion "better" consumption devices while completely ignoring the iPads ever growing stable of desktop quality apps.
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post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Now, the big selling point of an Amazon tablet is presumed to be access to their media assets.

Another thing about this, does anybody actually enjoy using Amazon's media offering? The kindle seems to be the only part of it that has a good delivery mechanism, the few times I've downloaded MP3s from them it has been a bizarrely awkward and frustrating process. I dread to imagine what video would be like - but since they don't seem to offer video in the UK - I guess I don't need to worry about that.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Another thing about this, does anybody actually enjoy using Amazon's media offering? The kindle seems to be the only part of it that has a good delivery mechanism, the few times I've downloaded MP3s from them it has been a bizarrely awkward and frustrating process. I dread to imagine what video would be like - but since they don't seem to offer video in the UK - I guess I don't need to worry about that.

I haven't, but that is because it's never been tied to a device (HW + OS) to make it a seamless and enjoyable experience. They might not change that with a proper tablet offering but I still contend Amazon's "ecosystem" gives them a leg up on the non-Apple competition.
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post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I haven't, but that is because it's never been tied to a device (HW + OS) to make it a seamless and enjoyable experience. They might not change that with a proper tablet offering but I still contend Amazon's "ecosystem" gives them a leg up on the non-Apple competition.

I agree, I just think it's telling that competing in the non-iPad market apparently doesn't involve any kind of productivity apps. I think it's kind of funny that Android tablets seem to be determined to actually live up to the low expectations for the iPad, while the iPad itself appears to be moving as quickly as possible to being a credible laptop replacement.
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I haven't, but that is because it's never been tied to a device (HW + OS) to make it a seamless and enjoyable experience. They might not change that with a proper tablet offering but I still contend Amazon's "ecosystem" gives them a leg up on the non-Apple competition.

Possibly, maybe, perhaps. I'd say the bigger deal is if Amazon can somehow do an advertising subsidized tablet. Horrible thought, but people would no doubt jump at the bargain, even if they subsequently hated the experience.

I think Amazon's biggest problem will be Apps, especially if they fork Android. Their App market is apparently an even bigger headache than the iPhone one, and without the good end experience of getting lots of downloads from happy customers. The killer problem is, even if you tell Amazon which devices the App is compatible with, it still lets owners of other devices buy the App.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

IMHO, iPad dominance isn't set in stone yet. Unlike the iPod, tablet competition cropped up pretty quickly, with a widely adopted OS readily available. To be honest I wouldn't be shocked if Apple held only 50-55% of the tablet market by years end.

But I wouldn't be shocked if it were 65-70% either. If the worldwide economy (and the US specifically) begins rolling backwards again, the entire tablet market may under-perform, with lower-priced devices becoming more attractive to Jo Blo consumer.

Strategy Analytics today posted a report that shows Apple with a falling percentage of the tablet market so far this year. That's no big surprise by itself, as it would be expected with competition heating up. But here's the surprise, at least to me. One year ago Apple held a 94% worldwide share of the tablet market. It's now fallen to 61%. That's huge.

Granted Apple reportedly couldn't produce enough iPads to meet demand, but that failure may have contributed to Android coming from less than 5% last year to 30% now. Apple's getting closer to that 50-55% of the tablet market share I mentioned as a possibility by year's end.

http://eon.businesswire.com/news/eon...apple/ipad/ios
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