A newreport from the Wall Street Journal contends that Amazon is getting ready to launch an Android-based tablet. According to the report, the device could be made available to customers as early as October and will boast many of the features consumers are after, including a big display and access to the company’s application marketplace.
Already, there are some folks chiming in on Amazon tablet’s chances of success. Many of those people say that the tablet might perform well at retail, but it won’t be able to compete on the same level as Apple’s iPad. Those critics say that Apple’s tablet is simply too popular and too well-built for any company, including Amazon, to even come close to taking it down.
Although the Amazon tablet likely won’t take the iPad down, it does have a chance at becoming a strong competitor in the tablet market. Apple’s iPad is a great product with a proven track record of success. But any tablet Amazon offers might just give it a run for its money.
Read on to find out why:
1. The Amazon brand carries weight
One of the biggest issues with iPad competitors right now is that the companies that developed them don’t have the same kind of brand appeal as Apple. Amazon, however, does. The company is trusted as a fine online retailer and is well-known across the world. That alone could help any Amazon tablet take on Apple’s iPad. After all, if consumers trust a company, they will be far more likely to buy its products.
2. The reported timing is perfect
If the Wall Street Journal is correct,Amazon will be launching its Android tablet in October. With that launch date, the company could potentially capitalize on the busy holiday-shopping season, since the tablet will be fresh on the minds of folks looking to buy a slate this year. Even better, as long as Apple doesn’t release another iPad this fall, it would give Amazon months to appeal to customers before Apple offers up its own new tablet. Timing is everything in retail, and based on what’s known so far, Amazon seems to know that.
3. The screen size is where it needs to be
According to the Wall Street Journal’s sources, the Amazon tablet will ship with about a 9-inch display. Whether or not that means it will come with a 9.7-inch screen that matches the iPad’s or just a standard 9-inch display is unknown at this point. But in either case, the screen would be in the sweet spot. Small, 7-inch displays don’t work in the tablet market. Consumers have proved that they want large, 9- to 10-inch displays. If Amazon delivers that in its tablet, it will help put its device on the map.
4. Android is getting better
The Amazon tablet will be launching with Android. Chances are, the device will be running Android 3.1. Although that platform can’t compete on the same level as iOS, it’s getting closer as Google offers more updates. Most folks who have used the tablet-friendly Android version are somewhat happy with it. As Android improves over the next several months, Amazon should be able to capitalize on that with its tablet.
Digital Content, Pricing Are Pluses
5. Consumers are warming to other tablets
The iPad 2 is selling like gangbusters, and most analysts believe that will continue in the coming weeks and months. However, according to IDC, 53.5 million tablets will ship this year, indicating that consumers are willing to buy something other than an iPad. For Amazon, that’s a good thing, since it has the benefit of its name, plus all of its other, aforementioned trump cards.Amazon’s tablet doesn’t have a chance to challengeiPad sales this year, but it might lead the way over Android competitors in the fourth quarter.
6. Think about the digital content
One of the key selling points of Apple’s products has always been its digital content. The company’s iTunes marketplace has helped sell iPods, iPhones and now iPads. And no other company so far has been able to match that. But Amazon is different. The company has an MP3 store and digital video content that people can access. If it can bring that functionality to its tablet and deliver an iTunes-like experience, it might just have the key feature that could put it on an equal footing with Apple.
7. It could win on price
Recent reports surrounding the Amazon tablet suggest that the device will come in at a much cheaper price than the iPad 2. If so, that could benefit Amazon. Sure, at a lower price, it might mean that the device comes with less features, but considering the economy, and the fact that there are many consumers on a budget who don’t want to drop $500 for a tablet, offering a competitive offering at a better price could send Amazon’s tablet into the hands of many customers.
8. It’ll get significant attention
Arguably, the best Android-based tablet on store shelves right now is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. The only issue is, after its launch, it was largely forgotten. Even during the lead-up to the launch, it didn’t get much attention. The importance of hype cannot be underestimated. It’s what helps Apple sell so many iPads. Because of Amazon’s brand appeal, the company’s tablet should be able to build up quite a bit of hype. And that should help it sell more units of its device.
9. It’ll overshadow Android tablets
Aside from not getting significant attention at launch, Android tablets haven’t done much to help their cause after launch. Few companies have been promoting their tablets, and even when they did, the firms didn’t do such a good job of it. Amazon, on the other hand,does an extremely fine job of promoting its hardware, particularly the Kindle e-reader, through both traditional marketing and on its site. Rest assured that if Amazon releases a tablet, the device will be on the front page of its site for all to see. That alone is valuable promotion that other devices just don’t have.
10. Consider the Kindle
Those who say that the Amazon tablet won’t be able to compete with the iPad 2 say that the device will be underpowered and lack features that would appeal to consumers. However, if one considers the Kindle, they will quickly find that that justification makes little sense. The Kindle lacks color, a worthwhile browser and all the other features people love in tablets. Yet, it’s a top-selling device on Amazon. If the Kindle, with all of its feature deficiencies, can be a winner, why can’t an Amazon tablet with many more features?