Will the new Amazon tablet really be a tablet at all?

KindleThese rumours have been swirling around for an age - that Amazon are going to launch a new tablet that, among other things, will allow customers to stream movies direct from Amazon. Now there are component manufacturers saying it's going to happen in the next three months - and that Amazon expect to shift up to four million of them alone before the end of the year. Crikey.

Sources at the manufacturers have disclosed a full list of companies involved to DigiTimes, which includes processors allegedly supplied by Texas Instruments. The sources also confirmed that Amazon will supply streaming movie services for the new full-colour tablets.

All of it makes sense given Amazon's aspirations for the entertainment market - aside for the numbers. Amazon certainly have the potential to sell four million tablets because they have the reach and market position among consumers to do so. But there are two elements that will counter such explosive sales, assuming the rumours are true; price and quality.

It wasn't until Amazon really hammered down its price that the Kindle found widespread adoption, and so far there hasn't been a tablet manufacturer to beat Apple with a similar offering at a similar price. Whether we'll see another high quality tablet PC in 2011 is questionable - plenty of critics don't think so ("For the general consumer I can't think of a single reason to buy this device").

But then it's also very possible that Amazon will build a tablet that has a single purpose and does it very well - just like the Kindle. If the new tablet is a tablet viewer (rather than what we've come to know as a tablet PC) that streams movies and nothing else, that removes the need for the required hardware and a sophisticated user interface and lowers the price accordingly.



  • NB
    Excellent point on the possibility of a streamer/viewer, I think there would be a market for that if done well. I'm not sure that competing with all tablets makes sense. I bought a Kindle because I just wanted to read, and tablets aren't good for that. Not everyone wants an expensive device that tries to do everything. They could appeal to people who look at the iPad and think 'well it would be great for watching movies on the train' but wouldn't use it for much else, and are put off by the price.
  • Dick
    For me it would depend on whether you have to stream to watch, or if you could download before travelling. Also if you can watch what you already own and whether you could store video on the device. Otherwise you are stuck with buying everything you want to watch from amazon and will have to buy again films that you already own on DVD or bluray. It would also mean you could use it in places with poor signal. I'd also want an option to continue watching a film, so if you use it on a short journey, you can easily go back to where you stopped.
  • John
    I don't see Amazon making such a bad mistake as a streaming only player. Why you would incorporate a touch screen into such a product when a omnidirection pad and a few buttons would be considerably cheaper. Also IF they are gunning for iPad2 then it goes without saying that they MUST make a like for like product(iPad2 does more than stream!) Also they have said that the Kindle will remain part of their line up, a streamer would be to close to a Kindle to make a strong enough sense of needed identity. Roll on Xmas. UK.
  • Adam
    I'm guessing that the fact the Amazon launched it's own Android app store a short while back may indicate that this will be an Android tab. :)
  • Rich
    Adam - Amazon are on every platform even blackberry.
  • Tom
    I think Amazon will release an Android Tablet, but that it wont replace the kindle as both would be sold to different markets. Heres what I predict: - An updated Kindle will come out, essentially the same but with a touchscreen and removing the keyboard (similar to the nook touch) - One or more Android tablets will come out, and will have the amazon experience built into them (i.e deep integration of the kindle app, movie renting/streaming, access to the amazon mp3's) Two products for two markets, hopefully amazon will also take a hit on the price of the tablet so they sell well (and theyd be making their money on selling content anyway), approx price of £200

What do you think?

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