Amazon may not have a whole lot of luck with the
sales tax-related situation lately, but that certainly won't stop the United
States' largest online retailer. To prove it, Amazon will be releasing a tablet
this year in order to broaden its e-commerce activity.
Tablets have become a large part of the computing
community over the past year or so. The release of Apple's
iPad in April 2010 (May 2010 internationally) made the tablet
a popular new mobile device, having sold 3 million devices in the first 80
days. The iPad
2 (released March 2011) skyrocketed in popularity as well,
with retailers reporting that they were sold out one day after the release.
The Android-based Motorola
Xoom was released in February 2011 and sold approximately 100,000 units
during the first six weeks of sales according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Research
in Motion's PlayBook for Blackberry hit store shelves in April of this year,
selling 50,000 units on the first day of launch.
Among the tablet hierarchy, investors and analysts
place Apple's iPad and iPad 2 at the top and predict that Amazon's
new tablet will be in the No. 2 spot according to Reuters. They believe Amazon's tablet
will beat other tablets that have already released like the Xoom and PlayBook
because both the Xoom and PlayBook are not "clearly connected to
content" while Amazon has music downloads, Kindle eBooks, and videos to buy
"In the tablet market, the No. 2 player will
be Amazon," said Mark Gerber, director of technology research at Detwiler
Fenton. "None of these other tablets have really taken off."
Amazon's tablet, which will feature a 9-inch
screen and the Android operating system, is expected to compete directly with
Apple for a few reasons. First, Apple's iPads are connected to content like
iTunes for their music, books and video-related needs. As previously discussed,
Amazon has similar content connectivity as well. In addition, Amazon and Apple
have both released cloud storage services (Cloud
Drive and iCloud respectively)
giving users additional options after purchasing digital content.
While Google also has the Android Market available
for content as well as the Google
Music cloud service, analysts apparently do not believe these
feature can compete as well as Amazon could in the tablet realm.
Amazon is learning that mobility is key to
expanding its reach to consumers, and while it hopes to sell tablets in this
new endeavor, its more concerned with encouraging more spending on its other
products through the use of the tablet.
Amazon's tablet is expected to be introduced
sometime before October 2011.