Expectation has been mounting over the next product release from Amazon, the New Kindle Tablet, which is set to rival Apple’s iPad. Recent announcements in the Asian media, reporting manufacturers who will supply Amazon with components for the New Kindle, place the release date as soon as August or September. Reports have indicated that they are gearing up to deliver 700,000 – 800,000 units per month and that Amazon are hoping to sell up to 4 million units. The timing the launch of the across the US and Europe to coincide with the holiday season shopping. It is speculated that, as with the last Kindle product, it will be released concurrently in the US and UK. Amazon have publically stated very little about the release of the New Kindle Tablet device, with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos only saying “stay tuned” when pressed to comment.
It is suggested that there are two variants proposed for the New Kindle tablet, also known in some areas as Kindle 4. The entry level tablet with a dual core processor, codenamed “Coyote” will have a 7” colour screen. Whereas the higher specification version, codenamed “Hollywood”, will have a quad core processor with a 10” colour screen. Speculation on the price of the higher specification tablet sets it at around $400 (£250). Both tablet versions will have easy access to movies, e-books, music and android applications via Amazon’s online store. It has also been speculated that Amazon may include free video streaming for an introductory period.
The technology changes required for the New Kindle include a colour screen using a development of the existing E-ink technology. E-ink Corp the company behind the high tech virtual ink used in the existing Kindle products has developed E-ink Triton. This is described in their company literature as providing a “high-contrast, sunlight readable, low-power performance that further closes the digital divide between paper and electronic displays.” The low energy aspects of the colour display ensure longevity of tablet use between charges.
The New Kindle’s operating system is likely to be based on Google’s operating system Android. Amazon has recently creating an online Android App store which would rival Apples App store. Some of the features of the Amazon store include a one-click purchasing facility, targeted recommendations based on previous purchases, discounted applications and a one free app per day facility. Similar to the current Kindle software where users can buy e-books with one click, the Kindle for Android would provide all of those facilities.
One question is will an Amazon Tablet be able to compete against the Apple iPad? Market analysts believe, that of all of the Tablet Manufactures, Amazon is best placed to make that challenge on the dominance of Apple. Factors such as innovative products already demonstrated in the Kindle, Britain’s most popular e-reader; a loyal customer base who are used to buying and downloading on-line content; an aggressive tablet pricing policy at £250; and a strong brand in Amazon all point to the Amazon Tablet being a success.