Amazon Android Tablet Coming in October, Says WSJ

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-07-14 Print this article Print

The latest spin on the Amazon Android tablet rumor mill has the e-commerce giant pumping out a 9-inch tablet this October to try to catch some of Apple's iPad magic.

You know, the kind of magic that goes with selling between 25 million and 30 million tablets in less than 18 months.

Here are the latest details, according to the Wall Street Journal:

  • The device will run Android, likely the latest iteration of Google's Android "Honeycomb" operating system intended for tablet computers.
  • There will be no camera, which could put it at a disadvantage with the iPad 2, but on par with the iPad, which launched in April 2010 sans shutter.
  • Amazon is outsourcing the tablet to an "Asian manufacturer." I hope Samsung builds the thing.
  • Here's the interesting detail: Amazon is allegedly working on another model of its own design for 2012. Very Kindle-esque.

The Journal quotes Forrester Research Sarah Rotman Epps, who believes Amazon is better endowed to compete with Apple in the tablet market than others, what with its digital music, movies and books.

I would say Amazon is best positioned to compete with Apple. It could also undercut Apple on price, subsidizing the device, perhaps even pairing with ads.

This is all ground I've trod before with Epps and other industry analysts. But what no one is addressing, and what I'm soliciting commentary on here, is this theory ...

It's pretty much proven that while there are some nice Android tablets out there -- the Evo View 4G for 7-inch, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, none of them are selling well.

Contrary to some popular beliefs, Honeycomb tablets are not duplicating the success of their Android handset brethren, for a number of reasons, lack of apps and content being just a couple as Instapaper creator Marco Arment noted.

What I want to explore is whether Amazon could be the savior for Android tablets. It's impossible to grok, Amazon tablet sight unseen, but my guess is the only real way for Honeycomb to gain traction is on the arm of Amazon down the tablet aisle.

TechCrunch's MG Siegler argues an Amazon tablet would be totally "Amazon'd" and that Amazon could tap Bing for search. The latter part isn't going to happen. Most people want Google as their search, not Bing.

Google would be fine with an Amazon'd tablet running Amazon's Appstore and other content. Google search, and by extension, its ads.

Tell me why I'm wrong. Or right. |

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