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Amazon vs. Apple: The Tablet War

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When Steve Jobs first introduced the Apple iPad, it was launched with such fanfare that the technopress were referring to it as the “Jesus Tablet”. Well, Apple could only remain in the clouds for just so long, and now, at about the same time as the introduction of the third generation of iPad, that other celestial body, Amazon is floating in.


What’s Amazon Got That Others Don’t?

Other competitors have tried to compete with the now ubiquitous iPad, but none with the clout of an Amazon. The Amazon applet is going to have a 9-inch screen and a built-in Kindle e-reader, but will be able to deliver just about any kind of digital media, not just books and music.

Just when everyone thought that the Apple iPad would put Kindle out of business, Amazon announced that they will introduce their own version of a tablet in October. War has truly been declared.

To date, Apple estimates it has sold 25 million iPads, , but if its second quarter sales of 8 million hold, that will mean 32 million in 2011. Can Amazon compete? Amazon is using Google’s Android operating system and opening their own Android app store to keep the peripheral sales in house, but to compete with Apple, Amazon will have to wow customers with brave new features.


But Can They Beat Apple?

So far, it looks like they will not. The screen is smaller than the iPad’s 9.7 inches and it doesn’t have a camera. The manufacturing is going to be outsourced, probably to keep the price down, but will that also keep the quality down?  If Amazon is going to win this battle (and this has to be just the first of many battles, because it is surely going to be an ongoing war), the big attraction they will have to offer to customers will be price.  Can they compete with Apple’s $499 price tag and still offer a quality product? Will they cut the price just to get into the market, and take a loss? Or will they merely sell a $179 kindle with a few new bells and whistles and get a few more dollars for it?


Or Is It a Different Game for Them?

The other speculation is that perhaps Amazon is willing to take a loss because they are looking at a completely different business model than Apple’s.  Apple promotes its digital content to sell more devices. Perhaps Amazon has decided to push devices in order to sell digital content. After all, they are the world’s largest bookstore.

In addition, Amazon will probably sell the tablet with the Android Appstore already installed, making it simpler and easier for users to buy anything Amazon. For that kind of seller power, they may just be willing to lose on the device itself.

Any way you look at it, it is going to be an interesting fight.  Be sure to have ring side seats this coming October.

Darren writes on many topics including technology, free people search, social media and social networks.

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

4 thoughts on “Amazon vs. Apple: The Tablet War

  1. You might want to rewrite this, “The Amazon applet is going to have a 9-inch screen…” Obviously you meant tablet and a techcrunch hands-on article states the screen will be 7-inch.

  2. It will be just another Android, with the same weaknesses. No one knows how it will perform. No one knows anything yet. I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you …

  3. Just what Brian said! Over 3 days later and still not corrected!

    Web sites should have an alert button when a reader spots a factually incorrect statement or an egregious error or wrong word.

  4. Now, as to substance… it is a chilling prospect if Amazon goes the razor, razor-blade model, which I think they will. They’ll sell it for half the price of the iPad, with maybe 75% of the features and quality, figuring that they will make out like bandits on book, music, and movie sales. Alas, they’re probably right.

    Maybe Apple should just buy Amazon! Not sure Bezos would go for it, but perhaps he could be given a “chief guru and bottle washer title” and go design an Apple spaceship (his other hobby).

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