On the heels of the iPad 2: an Amazon tablet?

On the heels of the iPad 2: an Amazon tablet?

No question, there will be broad media coverage of the iPad 2’s very likely announcement at 10:00 AM Pacific today. 

You can see all sorts of speculation (some of it apparently quite well-informed) about what that might involve.

Random House appears to have gone to the Agency Model to be part of the announcement.

That’s a big publicity wave.

Will Amazon take advantage of that by releasing their hypothetical tablet this week?

I think that would make sense.  People perceive an Amazon/Apple rivalry.  If Amazon released an Android tablet today or tomorrow (after the iPad 2 announcement), many of the stories about the iPad 2 would include both devices. 

People are going to inevitably talk about the shortcomings of the iPad 2…even if there really aren’t any.  😉  What I’m seeing is many people are already talking about the iPad 3. 

A “surprise” announcement by Amazon right on the heels of the iPad 2 would put them right in that media mix.

While Amazon hasn’t said they are working on a tablet, there are a lot of indicators, including the fact that they bought a touchscreen company, and that they are supposedly releasing their own Android marketplace this month.

Marketing a table is a little tricky for Amazon, but not too bad.  The most important thing to me is that they don’t call it a Kindle.  The Kindle needs to keep its positioning as the best EBR (E-Book Reader) out there.  They need to promote a new device as being for surfing, for shopping, for watching videos (from Amazon…they just made a big move in offering streaming video as an included part of the $79 annual Prime membership), I would think for gaming.

Yes, it would also be “Kindle-ready”.  🙂

They could compete with the NOOKColor’s nice looking magazines and kids’ books in color, too.

I’m just completely guessing, here, but I think the timing would be excellent. 

I’ve talked to my Significant Other about it…if Amazon puts out a tablet, there’s a place in our home for one.  😉  If they’d like me to review one, I’d be happy to do that…  😉

What do you think?  Would it be a mistake to open up to “head-to-head” comparisons?   Is doing a tablet a bad idea for Amazon, since they promote how the Kindle is better than a tablet for reading?  Feel free to let me know.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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8 Responses to “On the heels of the iPad 2: an Amazon tablet?”

  1. fairy dust Says:

    I think it sounds like a great idea, if Amazon were to release a tablet on the heels of iPad2. Talk about taking wind out of Apple’s sails 🙂

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, fairy dust!

      Well, I often laugh at geeks like me doing sports analogies ;), but it would at least be like “drafting” in a bicycle race. 🙂

  2. Tom Madsen Says:

    Hi Bufo,
    Well with the prolonged delay of a new DX (i mean a real update). I think you are definitely going see something like a tablet coming. Though I would still rather have a newer kindle style DX. I think like you said it would be a great vehicle to tie into the other media Amazon has available. I think the concern might be real, that at some point they may deny the kindle app.

    This for sure would get interesting if they could get some big break on a 3g Network (though I don’t see them being able to give it away as the kindle has).

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I agree…I don’t think we need to look for “Paul is dead” level clues on this one. 😉

      I don’t see free 3G on this…maybe like the iPad: wi-fi only, or 3G with a dataplan. Amazon is innovative, though…

  3. Deanna Says:

    I know I’m wanting what I probably can’t have, technologically, but I want a Kindle Tablet.

    I would buy either a device that was fully Kindle-ebook wonderful and really-good-if-not-fully-iPad on the tablet end. Or I would go the other way. iPad-worthy Amazon tablet that was as good or nearly as a standard kindle for ebook reading. In other words,

    I would compromise a little either way, but I don’t think I’d buy another device. That would make 3 devices to stuff in my pocket/bag at the same time.

    I use a Blackberry for surprisingly heavy duty note-taking, task management, calendaring, surfing, etc, plus it’ s necessary for phone and email. Then I have a Kindle (DX at the moment but would prefer smaller for the next device.) A tablet really only buys me a good magazine reader and improved surfing. I’m not sure I can be sold on 3 devices.

    What I really want is a tablet that’s Kindle-great, good for writing and organization (tasks, projects, calendar), and of course the web-surfing and email Then I could stuff a cheap tiny cell phone in my pocket and live happy.

    Am I missing something in the have-a-kindle-and-a-tablet strategy?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Deanna!

      Where the conflict is right now between a “Kin-tastic” reader and a tablet is the reflective screen on the Kindle.

      Kindle pluses: easy on the eyes; long battery life; good in bright light

      Tablet pluses: video; fast screen refresh (enabling better web surfing); color (that’s just a few)

      Right now, those are self-exclusive.

      The E Ink screen that makes the Kindle great for reading prevents it from doing some of the things that make a tablet attractive.

      Technology is rapidly evolving, and those values may merge in the near future.

  4. Deanna Says:

    I left out another critical feature, for me–easy audiobook listening.

    Meaning, if I had my dream tablet and only a tiny, basic cell, that dream tablet would need to be small enough to carry around as an ebook reader, eaerphone in ear. I use my Blackberry instead of my ipod for audio right now. Not perfect because of the EM radiation issues in the Blackberry, but I choose it over hauling around an ipod too.

    So that’s really 4 devices I’m trying to cram down to at least 2:

    ipod/Blackberry for audio
    Blackberry/tablet (?)for net, writing, organization
    Kindle for ebooks
    Tablet for magazines and other colorful or whiz-bang visual features
    Cell phone

    (And then there’s the netbook overlap issue, but that’s just too much muddying of the water.)

    One day this will be a funny, quaint problem. 🙂

  5. Deanna Says:

    I meant “carry around as an audiobook reader”

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