Amazon Tablet Rumors
Amazon is finally launching its tablet PC – and the internet is abuzz with anticipation and rumors. A lot of technology and product blogs are speculating – what the Amazon tablet PC will look like, what are the expected features, how much is it going to cost, and when will it come to the market. Here, I will try to compile all the buzz in a single place so that you get a rough overview of what the Amazon PC is finally going to look like, and whether it will be worth spending money on.
Amazon Tablet PC - Expected Release Date
The earliest rumors had appeared as early as April, 2011, and the launch date was predicted to be around October-November 2011, well in time for the Christmas shopping season. As at the time of writing this article, Amazon has announced a Press Conference on Wednesday, 28th September, 2011. Though the company has not commented on the purpose of the press meet, enthusiastic journalists and techno bloggers are certain that Amazon will announce its foray into the tablet PC market.
Expected Shipping Date
When will Amazon finally start the shipping of the tablet PC? Again, nothing definitive, but a November shipping date is more than logical, considering the rush of Christmas buying around that time. Hopefully, the Amazon PC will start shipping well in time, so that interested buyers can gift themselves (and their loved ones) for Christmas. And hopefully, Amazon will have enough in stock!
Amazon Tablet Specs and Features
It is believed that the Amazon Tablet PC was circulated inside the company to a selected user base, and they are fine tuning the product before the final launch. Very few people outside of that group might have seen and actually sampled the device. Renowned tech blogger MG Siegler of techcrunch.com had an “unofficial” sampling, and he has described the features in some detail. He has noted that the Amazon tablet device is closest to Blackberry Playbook in looks and feel. Otherwise, Amazon tablet device features are mostly speculation – a veritable wish list of features that everyone would like to see. But, here is a compilation of some of the expected features of Amazon PC tablet –
- Screen size of 7 inches – about just as big as an average Kindle device. Bigger screen sizeswill be launched only later, presumably after Amazon is assured of good reception.
- Full color, backlit screen- Very basic and simple hardware design – with no physical buttons, no camera, no 3G, modest processor and little storage capacity.
- Runs on the Android platform – on a version that the company has developed itself – without any association with Google
- Depends on Amazon Cloud services – integrated with Amazon Cloud player and Instant Video Player
- Pre-loaded with Kindle reading app
- Pre-loaded with free Amazon Prime Membership (which otherwise costs US$ 79 per year)
Expected Price of Amazon Tablet Device
The price of Amazon is expected to be a killer feature – low enough to make it affordable to a lot of general users, and which will push the tablet PC market out from the realm of strictly geeky. As such, expect the Amazon Tablet to be priced reasonably. The price for the Amazon device will most probably lie somewhere between US$ 199 to US$ 299, with most estimates veering closer to the US$ 250 mark.
At US$ 250, Amazon Tablet will certainly count as among the most affordable tablet PCs, well below the US$ 400 mark of most accepted brands, and almost half of the US$ 500 of the cheapest iPad Tablet PC.
Will Amazon Succeed with its Tablet PC?
The big question is – will Amazon be able to repeat the success it had with Amazon Kindle? Are the customers ready to accept another player in the already cluttered Tablet PC market – where iPad is the undisputable leader?
Only time will tell!
Amazon certainly seems to have the wherewithal – the financial muscle and a very effective sales and delivery network – at its disposal. The way Amazon is expected to bundle its existing products – Amazon Prime membership, Kindle reading apps, Cloud services etc – with the tablet, and at the expected price of around US$ 250, the deal will certainly seem sweet enough for a lot of buyers.