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Amazonís iPad Rival Kindle Tablet Will Be 7 Inches and Cost $250

This is a discussion on Amazonís iPad Rival Kindle Tablet Will Be 7 Inches and Cost $250 within the Apple iPad News forums, part of the Apple iPad Forums category; Originally Posted by GoPackGo I don't get tablets whose screens are much smaller than the iPad 2's. Honestly, I think the point of tablets is ...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoPackGo View Post
    I don't get tablets whose screens are much smaller than the iPad 2's. Honestly, I think the point of tablets is to have a big screen. 7 inches is pretty small. (Though, I bet that's bigger than the Blackberry Playbook, whose screen is laughably small in my opinion.)
    I think the main line of Kindles have 6 inch screens, so a 7 inch Kindle represents an increase in screen size. People have no problems watching videos and even reading text on smaller devices such as the iPod Touch, smartphones, etc. And there are reports that Amazon has plans for a 10 inch device later on, so they are covering both small and larger tablets. More choice is a good thing, though again I don't see this as causing any problems for Apple.

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  3. #12
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    I'm sure they will sell just fine. Trying to position this as a threat tom the iPad however is just journalistic license.

    It will threaten the Nook. Not the iPad.

    -t

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigCheese View Post
    It's NOT a competitor for the iPad as it is 7", no camera, and runs a very old version of Android (2.12 or older!!!) Also, Amazon removed all the Google apps and you will only be able to load apps from Amazon's store. It looks a lot like a clone of the Nook Color.
    I think many consumers have a general idea of Android as a generic term, Android vs Apple, but otherwise don't care about versions. And the Android market adds to the problem by selling new smartphones and tablets with older versions of Android OS. A lot of Google apps suck. And since a lot of Amazon customers are used to buying a wide range of stuff from Amazon's web site, having to load apps only from Amazon's store will probably be a nonissue.

    But you hit on the key point. Amazon is not trying to compete with the iPad. They are trying to appeal to consumers. And they clearly don't care about techs or computer geeks, or even those who like to fight about open vs walled garden technology. They are selling an enhanced Kindle, not fighting the tablet wars.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlestick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigCheese View Post
    It's NOT a competitor for the iPad as it is 7", no camera, and runs a very old version of Android (2.12 or older!!!) Also, Amazon removed all the Google apps and you will only be able to load apps from Amazon's store. It looks a lot like a clone of the Nook Color.
    I think many consumers have a general idea of Android as a generic term, Android vs Apple, but otherwise don't care about versions. And the Android market adds to the problem by selling new smartphones and tablets with older versions of Android OS. A lot of Google apps suck. And since a lot of Amazon customers are used to buying a wide range of stuff from Amazon's web site, having to load apps only from Amazon's store will probably be a nonissue.

    But you hit on the key point. Amazon is not trying to compete with the iPad. They are trying to appeal to consumers. And they clearly don't care about techs or computer geeks, or even those who like to fight about open vs walled garden technology. They are selling an enhanced Kindle, not fighting the tablet wars.
    Exactly.

    Amazon's app market is more limited, but those limits come with the benefit of testing and screening by Amazon, for reliability and security. That might not work for people who are willing to spend time and take risks for more Android freedom and customability, but we're talking about different types of customers.

    A walled garden, whether from Apple, Amazon or whoever, will always appeal to some customers, for convience's sake.

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigCheese View Post
    It's NOT a competitor for the iPad as it is 7", no camera, and runs a very old version of Android (2.12 or older!!!) Also, Amazon removed all the Google apps and you will only be able to load apps from Amazon's store. It looks a lot like a clone of the Nook Color.
    Assuming the TechCrunch article is fully accurate (The writer spent an hour with a Verification Test Unit and left many questions unanswered or in doubt), the comparison to the Nook Color is more or less accurate. There are good reasons for that.

    First and foremost, Amazon's most significant competition at this point is the Nook Color ("The Tablet for Readers" is the B&N tagline.) Rather than take on the iPad directly, Amazon will leverage their huge customer base (25 million Kindles shipped in 2011) to solidify their offerings in that space.

    The seven inch form factor, though not yet a winner in the pure tablet space has been a huge hit in the eReader market. Moving to a 10" form factor effectively abandons that critical feature and leaves the combo eReader/Tablet market to the Nook.

    The absence of a camera (if that turns out to be the case) doesn't surprise me. Smartphones routinely get bad reviews for their cameras and tablets get even worse reviews (iPad included). I'm not sure why Amazon would want to be dragged across the coals for a feature that most users don't care about.

    The comments on the TechCrunch article from Android fans are, not surprisingly, heavily negative. But that view ignores the fact that Kindle fans (much like Apple fans) place a lot of trust in the Amazon brand. The fact that it doesn't use the latest Android platform (if that turns out to be the case) is largely irrelevant to those buyers. The miniscule proportion of the market for whom a true "Android" experience matters means very little to Amazon.

    I am somewhat surprised that the Kindle 4 (or whatever it's going to be called) doesn't have 3G support out of the box (if, in fact, that turns out to be true.) The problem, however, is that 3G support on the Kindle is free. That will be impossible for a device that can be used for internet access on an ongoing basis so I suspect that Amazon is trying to work a deal with one or more cellular carriers that splits the difference between "free" 3G of the current Kindle and the $30 per month start/stop plan offered for the iPad.

    As far as the price is concerned, I suspect that $249 is exactly right. It has become obvious that the sweet spot for smartphones is just about $200 (subsidized). A slight bump for a tablet that still puts it at half the cost of an iPad is about what I think consumers will expect. And Amazon has no incentive to undercut the price of the B&N Nook (which has sold very well) with a device with comparable specs from a much stronger brand.

    The TechCrunch article implies that this is just one model in a larger Amazon tablet strategy (with a 10" model to follow in 2012.) I suspect that is true (though I'm not sure a 10" model is necessarily the next step.) Instead, I suspect that Amazon is banking on a combo backlit/e-ink display coming along in the next year, or so. (Doesn't matter much to folks like me but to a significant portion of the Kindle community the paper-like display of e-ink for reading is a crucial sales point.) That might be a 10" device, but I suspect that it would be even better in a 7" format.

    Bottom line? From one perspective it's not going to be an iPad competitor. But Amazon doesn't need an iPad killer. They do need a "Nook Killer." And they need to begin to extend the Kindle product line in a way that supports a long-term strategy as the tablet market matures.

  7. #16
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    My brother swears he'd rather watch a movie on a 4.3 inch smartphone screen than a tablet. People are just different! I like Kindles, but before I had my iPad I had a nook. I liked reading on it but now prefer the larger screen on my iPad. Only thing I miss is eink. Definitely easier on the eyes.

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  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsh1120 View Post
    The comments on the TechCrunch article from Android fans are, not surprisingly, heavily negative. But that view ignores the fact that Kindle fans (much like Apple fans) place a lot of trust in the Amazon brand. The fact that it doesn't use the latest Android platform (if that turns out to be the case) is largely irrelevant to those buyers. The miniscule proportion of the market for whom a true "Android" experience matters means very little to Amazon.

    I am somewhat surprised that the Kindle 4 (or whatever it's going to be called) doesn't have 3G support out of the box (if, in fact, that turns out to be true.) The problem, however, is that 3G support on the Kindle is free. That will be impossible for a device that can be used for internet access on an ongoing basis so I suspect that Amazon is trying to work a deal with one or more cellular carriers that splits the difference between "free" 3G of the current Kindle and the $30 per month start/stop plan offered for the iPad.

    As far as the price is concerned, I suspect that $249 is exactly right. It has become obvious that the sweet spot for smartphones is just about $200 (subsidized). A slight bump for a tablet that still puts it at half the cost of an iPad is about what I think consumers will expect. And Amazon has no incentive to undercut the price of the B&N Nook (which has sold very well) with a device with comparable specs from a much stronger brand.

    The TechCrunch article implies that this is just one model in a larger Amazon tablet strategy (with a 10" model to follow in 2012.) I suspect that is true (though I'm not sure a 10" model is necessarily the next step.) Instead, I suspect that Amazon is banking on a combo backlit/e-ink display coming along in the next year, or so. (Doesn't matter much to folks like me but to a significant portion of the Kindle community the paper-like display of e-ink for reading is a crucial sales point.) That might be a 10" device, but I suspect that it would be even better in a 7" format.

    Bottom line? From one perspective it's not going to be an iPad competitor. But Amazon doesn't need an iPad killer. They do need a "Nook Killer." And they need to begin to extend the Kindle product line in a way that supports a long-term strategy as the tablet market matures.
    Very good stuff. I largely agree with much of what you say. I can also see why Amazon would not jump into 3G. It is one thing to provide free or subsidized 3G when it is used only to buy and transfer books; the cost factor is very different when used for Web, email and other services.

    The $250 price is very reasonable, and becomes an even better value if it includes Amazon Prime fees.

    I don't see that Amazon needs a "Nook Killer" anymore than it needs an "iPad Killer." One of Amazon's challenges is keeping customers happy as states try to tack on state sales taxes to Amazon purchases. And so, their strategy in coming up with new products and services, goes far beyond competing in the tablet market.

    On the other hand, the Amazon product does offer an interesting challenge to the lackluster Android tablet market, and also offers a bit of a challenge to Apple's iTunes, especially if you can easily get music and video.

  9. #18
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    1/3 the storage and 1/2 the price. Looks like a gateway tablet to me. It'll get new people into the tablet market, some of whom will like the tablet concept but, after using it for awhile, will "upgrade..."
    Lewis


  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by k7lvo View Post
    1/3 the storage and 1/2 the price. Looks like a gateway tablet to me. It'll get new people into the tablet market, some of whom will like the tablet concept but, after using it for awhile, will "upgrade..."
    Internal storage capacity is much less relevant in a device where SD card and/or USB flash drive support is available.

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by k7lvo View Post
    1/3 the storage and 1/2 the price. Looks like a gateway tablet to me. It'll get new people into the tablet market, some of whom will like the tablet concept but, after using it for awhile, will "upgrade..."
    The thing is that some people are not looking for "tablets." Ebooks don't require a lot of space. If you can store some music, and stream video and more music, you may not have much of a reason to "upgrade" to anything more.


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