The iPad has become one of Apple’s most lucrative products, selling over 25 million units in its first 14 months of availability. As a result of the iPad’s success, other businesses have been releasing company-branded tablets running on the Android OS. No Android tablet has proven to be a serious competitor to Apple’s iPad yet, but this may change when Internet-superpower Amazon throws their hat into the ring. Unlike some of Apple’s current competitors in the tablet market, Amazon boasts a large budget and big time name recognition in the world of mobile devices. Simply because of its reputation, the Kindle is still the industry leader in sales despite lacking features which have now become commonplace in its competition such as touchscreen and color display.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, Amazon will ipad trade in value release their own Android powered tablet this October. Next to nothing has been confirmed, but the Internet is buzzing with speculation about the device. Amazon recently cut an exclusive deal with CBS, further strengthening Amazon Prime, their video streaming service. Since there’s been talk that Amazon might release their tablet bundled with a subscription to Prime, this move could influence prospective tablet buyers into investing in the tablet where they can watch their favorite TV shows. If Amazon bundles a subscription to their music streaming service as well, users could stream music with Wi-Fi or 3G and not need to worry about storing hundreds or thousands of MP3’s on the device, leaving room for more pictures, applications, and Amazon’s speciality: e-books. Reducing the need for massive hard drive space will mean the Amazon tablet might come out in smaller sizes and therefore with a smaller price tag too.
The potential rivalry between Amazon and Apple has the world of application developers rejoicing. iPad Application Development is already a booming industry; the Apple App Store has over 425,000 applications, 100,000 of which have been developed exclusively for the iPad. Paling in comparison, the Android Market lists a grand total of just 250,000 applications. An increase in competition between Apple and Android would benefit developers and users of both operating systems.
It’s feasible to assume that Amazon could make a big splash in the tablet market and become the iPad’s most serious competitor. Possessing a big budget and a recognizable brand name on top of potentially unique and innovative streaming services could mean Amazon is finally going to release a tablet that might get Apple worried that they could lose some of their sales. Both users and developers of applications should be excited at the thought of increased competition and therefore quality in the marketplace. This October, the world of tablets is sure to be shaken up thanks to Amazon.