Unconfirmed reports (traced back to Business Insider) are saying that Amazon’s tablet could be a smaller and limited Nook Color competitor - not a full tablet that would take on the iPad. While Amazon has every reason to go after the success of the Nook Color as well, we believe that we will soon be seeing a full tablet from the online retailer.
The first reason we believe that a full tablet is coming is that the market is ready for it. A recent study by Retrevo found that customers would seriously consider buying a tablet from Amazon more than from any other (non-Apple) company. The survey also showed that buyers were primed to jump at any iPad rival that could drop below the $300 price range (Amazon could possibly do that). That’s an opportunity that Amazon would be foolish to pass up.
The second reason we’re suspicious of the new ‘Nook Color rival’ claims is that Amazon has been locking up video content left and right. Last week they inked a deal with CBS to stream shows. Earlier this week, they added NBC/Universal to the mix. Sure, they could just be beefing up their desktop streaming service. But we highly doubt it. They have a full tablet coming, and a bundled video streaming that will rival Netflix is going to be one of its biggest draws.
But the clearest sign that a full-on Amazon tablet is coming has been right in front of our faces since March. As it stands right now, Amazon’s App Store is an interesting side venture for the company. With an Amazon tablet on the market, the Amazon App Store suddenly makes perfect sense. It will be the central hub for delivering content to owners of the slate.
Some may argue that the Nook Color has its own market – so how does the existence of the Amazon App Store rule out that it will be like Barnes & Noble’s 7″ hybrid eReader? It will be different because, as any Android user knows, the Amazon App Store includes nearly everything that Google’s Android Market does. This isn’t some watered down marketplace, with Angry Birds and a few productivity apps to complement eReading. No, it is intended as an Android Market replacement.
Using Android to Emulate iOS
Or, perhaps more accurately, it’s intended as an iOS AppStore competitor. Amazon is very smart, see. They looked at some of the ingredients that have made Apple’s platform so successful. It’s a closed system, and Apple controls all content delivery. That allows them to make the experience much more stable, user-friendly, and – most of all – profitable.
Amazon can take Android, which is an open platform, and turn it into their own closed platform. All they needed was their own app market. We believe that is the main reason why it launched in March (possibly about 6-7 months before Amazon’s tablet will launch).
And Then There Were Two
What could be the case here is that Amazon will launch two tablets, and that both predictions are “right.” One will be the Nook Color killer that the source spoke of. The second will be a full tablet, complete with Amazon App Store, their own custom UI (on top of Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich), and bundled streaming apps.
It will be well-designed, skimp on just enough unnecessary features to be priced right, and will be the first Android tablet to make a splash in the market. Whether it launches this Fall or early in 2012, it’s coming.