We’ve been hearing about an Android-based tablet from Amazon for quite a while now, but the company has till date not officially confirmed whether the product is indeed in development. With early 2011’s launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android however, the tablet seemed next in line. It wasn’t too practical to believe that Amazon would bother directly taking on the Android Market, even if it added some extra features, without some vested interest apart from the lure of a percentage of the app revenues.
A recent report by TechCrunch’s MG Siegler claims to validate the existence of the Amazon Android Tablet, with the author reportedly spending some hands-on time with a DVT (Design Verification Testing) unit of the tablet. A lot of information accompanied the report, including the name, and the pricing - the tablet will apparently be called nothing more special than the ‘Amazon Kindle’, and retail for $250.
With all the information, many in the industry, and huge number of interested customers, are quite disappointed by Amazon’s efforts, and find no real value proposition, even when compared to the Android-based e-reader/tablet, Nook Color, its direct competitor, apart from the integration of Amazon’s cloud services.
However, some regular Amazon users are still excited about the device, noting that at the price, a colour touchscreen Kindle that comes free with one year of Amazon Prime subscription, and native access to Amazon cloud services, might just be a great deal – a tablet that targets big-time Amazon users, and was never intended to be an iPad killer.
Check out our previous coverage on a recent market analysis report, which claimed the Amazon Android Kindle had a high chance of doing considerably well, selling more than 5 million units in the first quarter of its launch.
Those of you waiting for a dual-screen offering from Amazon – that fabled colour and E-ink device – will have to wait a while longer, the online retail giant is reportedly still in the early days of development on that front. A hybrid Mirasol type (colour display with E-ink like sunlight visibility) variant is apparently also being worked on.
Here’s what been reported about the latest Amazon Kindle device, found below in easily digestible little chunks:
- 7-inch capacitive touchschreen colour LCD display, supports two-finger multi-touch - no E-ink
- Will cost $250, the same as the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color
- Due to launch some time within the next few weeks
- 6GB inbuilt-storage, with possible expansion via SD card
- Only Wi-Fi connectivity, no 3G
- Has an extremely-inspired and deeply-integrated Kindle-like Carousel UI onboard, supposedly running on top of an Android version earlier than v2.2 Froyo. Looks nothing like other regular skinned-versions of Android
- Looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook in terms of form factor and design
- No access to the Android Market, only Amazon Appstore for Android
- No Google services/apps bundled onboard, such as Gmail
- 10-inch tablet was also due to launch at the same time as the 7-inch one, but has apparently been delayed to Q1 2012, with Amazon waiting for the market response to this one. 3G versions will probably start shipping around that time
- No hardware buttons
- No camera
- Reported single-core processor
- Integration of Amazon’s suite of cloud services, including Amazon Cloud Player, Amazon Cloud Drive, Kindle app, and Amazon Instant Video player
- Possible free bundling of an Amazon Prime subscription ($79) with the device, giving both new and regular Amazon users a chance to save on shipping costs, and also providing access to the Amazon Instant Video service.
In the meanwhile, another part of Amazon has been busy, gearing itself for the arrival of the Amazon Android Kindle, and that’s the site design team. Amazon is in the midst of testing a redesign for its site, making it more tablet-friendly with a new easy to use touch-based layout. The new and improved site will reportedly be available for both PC and tablet form factors – smartphones will be pointed to a different, and new mobile site. The new design (seen below) should be rolled on within the next few weeks.