The Amazon Android tablet meme was revived in full force last week after stories by the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times unearthed more details about a media consumption device that could challenge Apple’s iPad or other e-reader devices.
The Journal said consumers can expect a 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. Such a device would run the Android “Honeycomb” tablet-tailored OS.
Amazon also has an Android Appstore to offer users thousands of applications written for the open-source platform, though the device will not have a camera. The company is having an Asian hardware manufacturer-some have said Samsung-build the machine.
The Times meanwhile said Amazon has struggled with how to position the device, debating “the pros and cons of an Amazon tablet running Android versus Amazon building its own operating system based on the existing Kindle platform.”
The market is increasingly saturated with Honeycomb tablets such as the Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Toshiba Thrive and Acer Iconia Tab 500, among others. None of them have proven hot sellers to date.
Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdry-who has criticized Honeycomb tablets in the past as buggy and not efficient or particularly user-friendly for the vast majority of consumers-doesn’t believe Amazon will deliver Honeycomb’s salvation.
Chowdry believes that if Honeycomb were going to succeed in this digital, Internet-oriented age, it would have been an instant hit, noting that a successful market product is usually defined within the first hour or two of its launch.
As examples, he pointed to Apple’s iPhone, iPad and even the new Google+ social network, which racked up 10 million users in two weeks.
“In the Internet space, there is no second chance. You get it right or screw it up and move on to the next project,” Chowdry said. “In these areas, you have exponential growth, or no growth. Honeycomb is a failure, period.”
However, Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, who has been expecting an Amazon Android tablet for months to try to challenge Apple’s iPad domination, doesn’t think this is Honeycomb’s last stand.
Epps pointed to Sony’ S1 and S2 slates, which are coming to the market in September, as high-quality Honeycomb tablets.