Amazon will be launching a tablet based on Google's Android platform. It is scheduled to debut by October, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon will enter this space for the first time this fall. Their tablet will apparently have a 9-inch screen (comparable to the iPad’s 9.7-inch one) and will run an un-specified version of Android. It apparently won’t have a camera. And it won’t be designed by Amazon. Instead, they’ll outsource both the design and manufacturing. In other words, it’s probably going to be cheap — at least in build quality, if not in price.
Amazon and Apple
Amazon probably wants to compete against the Apple iPad but it won't surpass the iPad in terms of capabilities.
Instead it will do for Amazon what the iPad has done for Apple: serve as a platform through which digital goods can be sold.
The iPad is a digital media consumption device, plain and simple. Through iTunes and the App Store, iPad users can download applications, books, movies, music, TV shows, videos, and so on. Since it is so easy to make purchases directly from the iPad, no doubt Amazon is losing out on some digital sales that might otherwise be made through its website.
"Amazon and Apple are frenemies"—both friends and enemies—said Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst. They "rely on each other as partners"—Amazon, for example, sells digital books via its Kindle app in Apple's iTunes Store—but "at the same time, they aggressively compete for customers' attention and dollars," she said.
Apple pushes digital content in order to sell devices. Amazon could now be pushing devices to sell digital content. But if that really is the battle, Apple has the winning hand there. The margins are much better on Apple’s hardware sales than on Amazon’s content sales. Amazon would not be able to afford subsidizing their hardware indefinitely.
even if Amazon is able to release a relatively cheap tablet this fall, the major question will remain: why would I buy this instead of an iPad? Amazon’s tablet will have access to the same apps that current Android tablets do — and very few of those are optimized for, or work well on tablet devices. And what happens if Apple surprises everyone with a “Retina” display iPad before the end of the year?
Amazon and Google
Google will get some serious competition from Amazon, It has already handed Amazon the keys to the Android kingdom. Amazon is going to launch a tablet that runs Android, but it will be fully Amazon’d. It will use Amazon’s Appstore, it will use Amazon movies, it will use Amazon books, it will use Amazon music, etc. Google will have no control over this, even though it will be the seminal Android tablet.
Amazon could be the first major player to use Android that Google has absolutely no control over.