Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Before Amazon Releases its Tablet

In the past few weeks a lot of rumours, claims and suggestions have been made about the upcoming Amazon tablet.  Everyone has shared what they think Amazon should or would do. Well over a year ago, I wrote a piece on my blog on why I believe Amazon should do an Android tablet, so I welcome this news with a lot of anticipation too. But with all of the rumours and suggestions I guess I should throw in my two cents too.

Everyone believes that it will be cheaper than the ipad. This has to be the case. It looks like this is really hard to do for other tablet manufacturers. The main reason for this is the cost of materials and manufacture for the other tablets is higher than that of the iPad, just check isupply.com.  The truth is most of the other tablets aspiring to beat the iPad have better hardware than the iPad and this increases their cost of production. If Amazon can take a loss and sell its hardware cheaper, well that might be a start. We all remember how the reduction of the cost of the HP TouchPad started a mad rush for it. But I have a question here: If anybody can sell a tablet at a loss and afford to make money from the buying of content it is Apple after selling millions of iPads. So why has the price of the ipad not been reduced by Apple?

There are rumours that it will be a 7 inch screen size. I think this will be a bad idea. It will only make the Amazon tablet look like a cheap attempt to compete with the iPad. Amazon already have 7 inch Kindles so I feel it makes sense to start with a large screen device first and maybe launch a smaller device later. I believe that part of the magic of the ipad is its size. It makes it easier to identify the iPad. It makes it easy to consume all kinds of media. It means you will do less zooming. Books and PDFs just look like the real thing. It’s a winning size.  Anything else will just be like, just there. If you don’t agree with me show me a 7 inch tablet selling like hot cake.

The Amazon tablet will have to be a visual wonder design wise, size wise. Or else it will be criticized so badly people won’t even want to try it out. Think about it:  part of the excitement about the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the fact that it’s the first of the Android tablets that is lighter than the iPad while throwing in some excellent hardware. No wonder Apple wants to kill it in the courts.  Then on the other side think of the Motorola Xoom while not necessarily a poor tablet, the poor design is shooting it in its foot.

And finally it should be more open. A micro SD card slot will not be a bad idea. Something that will allow getting media from the tablet out and getting stuff unto the tablet. Or at least it should show up as a storage device when connected to a computer, allowing access to its storage space. It should be able to access the Android Market, buy things from Amazon.com and be totally free so if a user never wants to browse Amazon.com there will be no issues.