Consumers are ready for a low-cost tablet alternative to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and would seriously welcome such a slate from Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), according to Retrevo.
The consumer electronics shopping site said that 55 percent of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they would choose an Amazon tablet, which is expected to be based in Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android “Honeycomb” platform.
There’s quite a gulf between Amazon and the other tablet choices. However, Retrevo cautioned that it could not be sure whether some respondents confused Amazon as Kindle maker and Amazon as e-commerce retailer.
Roughly 38 percent of respondents said they would buy a tablet from Samsung or Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and 31 percent claimed they would pick a machine from Motorola (NYSE:MMI) or HP/Palm (NYSE:HPQ).
Nearly one quarter of respondents said they would choose a slate from BlackBerry PlayBook maker Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) and 21 percent picked Android-based Nook maker Barnes & Noble as their preferred provider.
The Wall Street Journal said consumers can expect Amazon to launch an Android tablet equipped with a 9-inch screen that connects users to Amazon’s extensive media content, including Amazon MP3 music and Cloud Player and Amazon Instant Video.
One appealing aspect of the Amazon tablet is that industry watchers expect it to be as low as $250, or half the entry-level price for the current iPad 2.
“If Amazon does, in fact, enter the tablet market with a low cost Android tablet this fall they might be able to change the playing field to a lower margin one where Apple would be less able to compete,”wrote Retrevo.com Director of Community and Content Andrew Eisner in a blog post.
Indeed, Eisner said 48 percent of respondents said that $300 was the price point that would get them to consider an Android tablet over an iPad.
Sandwiching that number is that 79 percent of people would buy an Amazon Android tablet if it cost less than $250, with 31 percent going with the e-commerce provider as long as it cost under $400.
If Amazon, with all of its content and cloud services, went this route, it might force Apple to reconsider its current pricing scheme, Eisner said.
“Despite the fact that Apple makes a lot of money on companion products like apps, music and software, Amazon may be in a better position to sacrifice a high profit margin on a tablet or razor in return for revenue from razor blades like books, music, videos and apps.”
Of course, Apple could one-up an Amazon tablet by launching a rumored widescreen, high-resolution iPad this fall, when it is allegedly unveiling the iPhone 5.
An HD display might help Apple widen its already considerable lead; the company has sold more than 28 million iPads in less than 18 months.