Amazon may not have a whole lot of luck with the sales tax-related situation lately, but that certainly won’t stop the United States’ largest online retailer. To prove it, Amazon will be releasing a tablet this year in order to broaden its e-commerce activity.
Tablets have become a large part of the computing community over the past year or so. The release of Apple’s iPad in April 2010 (May 2010 internationally) made the tablet a popular new mobile device, having sold 3 million devices in the first 80 days. The iPad 2 (released March 2011) skyrocketed in popularity as well, with retailers reporting that they were sold out one day after the release.
The Android-based Motorola Xoom was released in February 2011 and sold approximately 100,000 units during the first six weeks of sales according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Research in Motion’s PlayBook for Blackberry hit store shelves in April of this year, selling 50,000 units on the first day of launch.
Among the tablet hierarchy, investors and analysts place Apple’s iPad and iPad 2 at the top and predict that Amazon’s new tablet will be in the No. 2 spot according to Reuters. They believe Amazon’s tablet will beat other tablets that have already released like the Xoom and PlayBook because both the Xoom and PlayBook are not “clearly connected to content” while Amazon has music downloads, Kindle eBooks, and videos to buy or stream.
“In the tablet market, the No. 2 player will be Amazon,” said Mark Gerber, director of technology research at Detwiler Fenton. “None of these other tablets have really taken off.”
Amazon’s tablet, which will feature a 9-inch screen and the Android operating system, is expected to compete directly with Apple for a few reasons. First, Apple’s iPads are connected to content like iTunes for their music, books and video-related needs. As previously discussed, Amazon has similar content connectivity as well. In addition, Amazon and Apple have both released cloud storage services (Cloud Drive and iCloud respectively) giving users additional options after purchasing digital content.
While Google also has the Android Market available for content as well as the Google Music cloud service, analysts apparently do not believe these feature can compete as well as Amazon could in the tablet realm.
Amazon is learning that mobility is key to expanding its reach to consumers, and while it hopes to sell tablets in this new endeavor, its more concerned with encouraging more spending on its other products through the use of the tablet.
Amazon’s tablet is expected to be introduced sometime before October 2011.
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