Amazon tablet to oppose iPad dominance

The widely predicted Amazon tablet could knock the iPad off its perch, according to researcher team Forrester. There have been no public announcements of the tablet, but Amazon’s trademark registrations of “Lab126” points to a development team who will be involved in tablet production.

The eCommerce mega-company’s tablet will supposedly be based on the Android Honeycomb OS and will leverage Amazon’s powerful content distribution network. Applications will be sold from the Android App store, with media being supported by the Amazon Cloud player. This combination ensures a level of connectivity which may rival Apple’s online distribution efforts.

Forrester analystSarah Rotman Epps said,

“If it’s launched at the right price with enough supply, we see Amazon’s tablet easily selling 3-million to 5-million units in Q4 alone, disrupting not only Apple’s product strategy but other tablet manufacturers’ as well.”

Epps adds that, with a price point which is expected to be “hundreds less than the US$499 entry-point iPad“, and excellent content support Amazon’s tablet could easily rival the Apple iPad.

If the tablet is sold at a price below US$300, then Epps predictions could come true. Combine this with Amazon’s hefty cloud infrastructure, recognisable brand and its vast amount of available content and the company’s tablet has more than a fighting chance against the iPad. Other predicted features of the tablet includes a nine inch screen, that it will be a “weaker” tablet than the iPad (possibly to keep it as light and thin as possible) and that the interface will be a simplified version of Honeycomb.

The Android interface also means that users will be able to “root” the device. The primary reasons a user roots a device is to open it up to unauthorised software and to alter the core files of the hardware. Amazon’s main business model is content distribution, and being allowed to hack the device opens it up to the possibility of free content for life. This is why predictions are rife that the Amazon tablet will be the first commercially hack-proof tablet. Despite the iPad being hack-proof for now, Apple’s software is notoriously simple to root.

In the past, tablets like the Motorola Xoom, the now extinct HP Touchpad, Galaxy Tab, Blackberry Playbook and others have been unable to eclipse Apple’s dominant position in the market.



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