News Analysis: The Amazon tablet is just around the corner, according to the latest news reports. But by the look of things, the new tablet won't be all that appealing to many customers.
the technology world prepares for the
unveiling of the Amazon tablet later this week
, consumers and enterprise
users alike are wondering what the device will offer. The latest reports
suggest it might come in at the low price of $250 and boast Android along with
a 7-inch display. What's more, it will provide access to Amazon's Android
application marketplace, which means it should have a relatively healthy
selection of supported apps.
said, by the look of things right now, the Amazon tablet doesn't appear to be
worth getting all that excited about. Sure, the device is coming from Amazon,
which has an established traffic of successfully marketing tablets. But when
one considers the many factors that go into building a top-notch tablet as well
as how the market is operating right now, prospective buyers of this new model
will quickly find that the upcoming slate from the e-commerce giant might fall
short in several ways.
on to find out why getting excited for the Amazon tablet is a mistake:
1. It's coming with a small display
Amazon hasn't made any indication either way, recent reports claim the company
be showing off a tablet later this week with a 7-inch display
. That's a
problem. The iPad has ensured that all future successful tablets will come with
larger screens-and for good reason. As Steve Jobs pointed out earlier this
year, tablets work best with larger screen sizes. The iPad's 9.7-inch screen and
the Galaxy Tab 10.1's 10.1-inch display are right in the screen size sweet
spot. A 7-inch screen will look rather small (and less appealing) when compared
with its top competitors.
2. Is Android ready?
has been made about Android's success over the last few years and that it will
dominate the mobile space for the foreseeable future. However, in the tablet
market, Android is having some trouble gaining traction, due mainly to concerns
about the software the software's performance on tablets. Android 3.0 "Honeycomb"
was a mess when the Motorola Xoom launched, and Android 3.1, while vastly
improved, is no iOS. What's more, consumers have so far responded quite well to
iOS on the iPad. Considering the Amazon tablet will have Android, that could
prove troublesome for its adoption-at least, in the short term.
3. How important is pricing, really?
industry analysts say Amazon's trump card in the tablet space will be pricing.
Those folks believe the company will ship its first tablet
at around $250
, making it much cheaper than the iPad 2's base price of
$499. However, there have been several products on store shelves that have come
in cheaper than the iPad 2, including Vizio's 8-inch tablet, and none of those
products has even come close to matching Apple's sales. Pricing is important,
for sure, but it's not a make-or-break feature in the tablet space.
4. The better option is coming next year
the last several months, rumor after rumor suggest Amazon is working on two
tablets. The first, which it will reportedly announce this week, is the
smaller, less-capable option. The bigger, high-powered tablet will launch next
year. With that in mind, why would anyone want to get excited about Amazon's
7-inch version? Wouldn't it be better to wait for its best device?