Amazon’s iPad Rival Kindle Tablet Will Be 7 Inches and Cost $250

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by Maura, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Maura
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    Maura iPadForums News Team

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    Tech Crunch has the scoop today on Amazon’s much talked about new Android tablet, which many people think could be the iPad’s first real rival worth its salt. MG Siegler on Tech Crunch has actually had hands-on time with the tablet, and so his comments make for some very interesting reading. Apparently, it is called the Amazon Kindle, as many have suspected it would be, and it has a 7-inch screen, a size that Apple rejected when it was planning the iPad as it thinks it is too small for a tablet. And, the big news is that it will cost just $250! According to the report, the tablet looks a lot like a BlackBerry PlayBook, and has a capacitive multi-touch screen, only two-fingered rather than the iPad’s ten-fingered screen. And although it is powered by Android, it is very much Amazon’s own version, “fully forkedâ€, according to Android, and unlike any other Android-powered device that you will have seen. It apparently only has 6GB of storage, and will rely more on the cloud for access to the user’s movies and music. Initially, it will be Wi-Fi only.

    According to Tech Crunch, it is also possible that Amazon will release a 10-inch tablet sometime next year, although currently this 7-inch tablet is the only one that they are definitely planning to launch, and it may even be on sale as soon as the end of November 2011. If this tablet proves to be popular, however, Amazon could well go ahead with a 10-inch version in Q1 2012.

    So there we have it. The details are out! Does Amazon seriously have a genuine iPad killer on its hands, especially at that price, or is the 7-inch screen simply too small?

    Source:
    Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real. I’ve Seen It, Played With It. | TechCrunch
     
  2. tdmsu
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    I think for a 7-inch screen, the price is still too high. If they delivered the 10 inch for that price, it might be a different story.
    Using an LCD also ruins all their commercials hyping reading near the pool, etc.

    I'll keep my iPad, thanks.
     
  3. kitkat3709
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    kitkat3709 iPad Fan

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    Kinda sounds like my Nook Color, while being a great e-reader, it does not have the punch of an I-Pad. And also the apps are severely limited to children. Maybe Amazon will get it better than Barnes and Noble, but I doubt Apple will be worried.
     
  4. singlestick
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    singlestick iPad Fan

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    I don't think the Amazon device is a direct rival to the iPad. But it may finally see the expansion of the tablet market. I will bet that a lot of customers will view it as a Kindle plus or super Kindle, that is, a book reader with some useful extra features. A few iPad users may end up buying one.

    The interesting thing is that the device supposedly does not use a lot of google stuff, even though this is an Android device. I think this reflects an understanding that google is not that good at getting devices and services not related to search to the market.

    The other interesting thing will be to see how good the device is at streaming movies, especially since the PC based version of this Amazon service requires Flash. Here, I think you do see a bit of a challenge to Apple, but it is also a bigger challenge to Netflix, which is no longer the clear choice for a streaming based service.
     
  5. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Bummer. I would love a 7-inch tablet, and I'd easily spring for an Android tablet from Amazon, but I don't want any tablet without 3G.
     
  6. GoPackGo
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    GoPackGo iPad Junkie

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    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.)
     
  7. TheBigCheese
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    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.
     
  8. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    The point of a tablet is determined by the individual buyer.

    The things I do on the go with my iPads -- read books, read news, check email, listen to music, do Web searches -- I could easily do on a 7-inch screen, with the advantage of less weight.

    I can afford multiple tablets, and a 7-inch would offer me more portability.

    For some users, portability and weight are more important than for others. People who live in urban centers might not drive daily, for instance. If you carry your stuff all day and take the subway, for instance, a 7-tablet might be preferable.

    When it comes to consumer goods, there's no one device, size, etc., that will fit everyone. That's why markets support many types of goods. You don't have to "get" the need for a 7- inch tablet. All you have to grasp is that consumers are different and have different needs and preferences.
     
  9. SweetPoison
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    Exactly. If only....
     
  10. GoPackGo
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    Yeah, it was just my opinion, I wasn't passing it off as fact.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
     
  11. singlestick
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    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.
     
  12. thewitt
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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
     
  13. singlestick
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    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.
     
  14. Kaykaykay
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    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.
     
  15. jsh1120
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    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.
     

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