The Amazon Android tablet received a new infusion of speculation with the idea that Samsung is building a low-cost slate that may or may not be based on Honeycomb for the e-commerce giant.
gdgt Co-founder Peter Rojas added another layer to the slowly peeling meme
about an Amazon tablet when he said he's almost positive the e-commerce giant
is having Samsung build a device to compete with Apple's iPad.
said Amazon might run a custom version of Android rather than employ Android
3.0 or "Honeycomb," Google's tablet OS du jour.
Amazon just launched
its Kindle for Android application for
Honeycomb to accommodate the more than a dozen Honeycomb tablets coming to
market this year. That doesn't mean it's wedded to the OS build.
entirely possible that Amazon's tablet, like [Barnes & Noble's] Nook Color,
will use Android as a base upon which to build a totally customized experience
that tightly integrates Amazon services," Rojas wrote April 21
. "That integration
would let Amazon charge a lot less for its tablet than it would
use such a low-cost tablet-think $200 to $300-to extend its current Web
services, including thousands of books from the Kindle Store, movies and TV
content from Amazon Instant Video and music from its new Cloud Drive digital
has built its Amazon Appstore for Android to rival Google's Android Market,
which Rojas read as the biggest indication Amazon is building a new touch-screen
course won't confirm or deny it is building a tablet. When asked about the
reason for building an Android application store when Google, Verizon and
others offer one, an Amazon spokesperson told eWEEK: "An
Appstore is a logical next step for Amazon. We take mobile shopping very
seriously, and across the company, we are working hard to make great products
and services available on mobile devices."
A tablet would
certainly help Amazon extend and expand its mobile shopping domain past the
broad Kindle ecosystem.
If there is
any consensus emerging from the Amazon-tablet-as-iPad-challenger gestalt, it's
that Amazon must be building a low-cost slate, perhaps subsidized to make
people think twice about shelling out $499 to $829 for an iPad 2.
theorizing comes one week after Instapaper application creator Marco Arment suggested
Amazon could use the ad-supported model
it just introduced for the Kindle to provide a low-cost iPad challenger.
like the idea of an Amazon tablet as a meaningful challenger to the current
iPad hegemony Apple is cultivating.
Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps breathed life into the idea when she wrote in a blog post
March 10 that Amazon could
create a compelling Android- or Linux-based tablet and entice users with applications
from its Amazon Appstore for Android and features such as one-click purchasing,
Amazon Prime service and its recommendations engine.
analyst Carolina Milanesi, who projected Android
would command 40 percent tablet
market share by 2015, appreciates the notion.
they have now an app store to add to music video and books content, why
not?" Milanesi told eWEEK. "Tablets are a big opportunity, and rather
than trying to add too much to the Kindle, I think Amazon is wise to come up
with a different approach."
wonders how Amazon would brand such a device: as Amazon, Kindle or a new
moniker? We leave that question to the reader to puzzle over.