As the technology world prepares for theunveiling 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.
That 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.
Read on to find out why getting excited for the Amazon tablet is a mistake:
1. It’s coming with a small display
Although Amazon hasn’t made any indication either way, recent reports claim the company willbe 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?
Much 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?
Many 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
Over 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?
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5. Samsung’s tablet is compelling
Not everyone is looking for an iOS-based device, and there are millions around the globe who would rather use Android. However, what makes anyone think that those people should jump at the Amazon tablet? Sure, it will have Android, but so does the Galaxy Tab 10.1. And that tablet, which is already available, will likely be far more appealing to the average consumer than Amazon’s upcoming alternative. At this point, it appears the Amazon tablet is nothing more than another addition to an already crowded space.
6. The iPad 2 is a juggernaut
All this talk of Android leaves out one major issue for Amazon’s tablet: the iPad 2’s popularity. As Samsung, Dell, Vizio and countless others have found, beating Apple’s tablet at its own game is practically impossible. Heading into the holiday-shopping season, it might be even harder to establish a foothold in the marketplace. Although the Amazon tablet might appeal to some folks, for the vast majority of consumers, it’ll turn out to be another ignored alternative to the iPad 2.
7. The iPad 3 might be around the corner
The rumor mill is heating up around the iPad 3. All the latest signs point to a launch of Apple’s next tablet in the next several months. Some say it could happen in October, while others say the launch will occur in early 2012. In either case, the iPad 3 is right around the corner. And consumers, hoping to invest in the best device out there, might just wait for Apple’s offering before making any decision on their next purchase.
8. No company has proved they “get” consumers
Nowadays, it’s tough for consumers to get excited about any tablet that might launch. With each new device that hits store shelves, it has become clearer that no vendor (other than Apple) truly “gets” what consumers want. Some devices have small displays, while others are running poor software. Still others lack the design that consumers want. It’s a problem. These are factors that could make the excitement for Amazon’s tablet quite tepid.
9. Enterprise users, especially, shouldn’t care
If there is one group of customers that really shouldn’t care about the Amazon tablet, it’s the enterprise buyers. It’s quite apparent at this point that Amazon’s device is designed solely for consumers. Enterprise users will be out of luck. Of course, that’s nothing new for the enterprise. For nearly two years now, devices have come and gone without even thinking about the corporate world. Only the Cisco Cius and RIM BlackBerry PlayBook have offered up some functionality to enterprise users. Amazon’s tablet, however, won’t do anything of the sort. IT staffs looking to jump on the tablet craze will need to look elsewhere.
10. It could negatively affect the Kindle business
All this talk of the Amazon tablet seems to forget about the impact it could have on the company’s wildly popular Kindle. Over the short term, the Kindle will likely still be available to customers. But over the long term, there’s no telling what might happen to the e-reader. It’s quite apparent that most hardware vendors believe tablets are the future. Even Barnes & Noble converted its Nook Color to an Android tablet. Amazon, hoping to capitalize on that growth, will likely do the same. All the while, its Kindle might be most negatively affected. It’s unfortunate.