Depending on what rumors or what blog posts you read, we know a little more about Amazon’s coming Tablet. MG Siegler’s post on TechCrunch has some credibility because he’s apparently handled a prototype. But then, on the cautious side, we all know how prototypes (even the unofficially officially leaked ones) can give us a misleading impression of the final product.
In thinking about the new Amazon Kindle (according to Seigler that’s what it will be called), I’ve outlined a few thoughts about what this might mean. No, this isn’t a spec list. That’s a zero sum game of late, though it is important to many. Instead, think of it as a what I hope this “Tablet” does when it makes its entry into the Tablet Wars.
First and foremost: It will provide some competition. I’m not going to be wishy-washy about this. Regardless of what the first generation device actually is and does, Amazon’s got the muscle to pull this off short and long term. I think they also have the vision, and the smarts, not to try and out iPad the iPad. Amazon’s ecosystem has been established (music, movies, books, Apps,) and we all know that these are just consumption devices, right? Regardless, Amazon is competing where it matters and that’s on price if Siegler’s post or sources have credibility. $250 sounds just about right for the new Kindle’s first Christmas season. How much do you want to bet that a November release will mean we will see folks wanting a “sold out” Amazon Kindle come Christmas day? Again, remember the fist Kindle release. .
Second: Amazon knows how to market for the short term and the long haul. Remember all of those promises that the earlier versions of the Kindle were dead? I think Amazon is still selling quite a few of them if I’m not mistaken.
Third: Apple may be about making art intersect with technology, Google may be about cataloging the world’s information, but the one thing they have in common with Amazon is that they are all about making money. Amazon seems to do OK on that front. Even if for some reason Amazon can’t move tons of devices in the early going, it has the savvy, and the financial know how to play the long game here as it proved with earlier versions of the Kindle. I don’t think we’ll see any HP-like fold up if the first device doesn’t deliver.
Fourth: Android and all of what that means. This is speculation here, (heck most of this post is) but I’m guessing that Amazon is going to make us forget that Android is what runs the device. That would be a good thing in my view. I’m guessing we won’t see the pressure of the OS update game that other Android devices suffer from. Of course, if Amazon closes the system down (Android is “open” remember?) Amazon will get some knocks for that. But the thing will get hacked quicker than HP sold out of TouchPads at $99. We don’t know this for sure in terms of the still unreleased device, but the prototype didn’t have any Google Apps on it. I think Amazon is smart not to include the Google suite of Apps on the new Kindle. For the average consumer, I’m guessing they won’t miss them much.
And finally, Amazon, like Apple, has some credibility with a lot of customers with credit cards already in the system. Can you say 1-click? Nothing new to learn, nothing new to enter, and nothing but the sound of a digital cash register ringing.