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May 16, 2011

Lookout iPad, a Family of Amazon Android Tablets on the Way

This story broke at the end of last week and over the weekend. Amazon is readying a family Android based tablets to compete with the iPad.

Will Amazon make a tablet? 'Stay tuned,' says Jeff Bezos
Tom's Guide: Amazon Says ''Stay Tuned'' On Tablet Front
ReadWriteWeb: Will Amazon Become the Dominant Player in the Android Ecosystem?

This has probably been in the works for a while. Given the success of the iPad. Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon realized they should be in this space. However, with Apple's new requirement that any in App purchases go through the App Store, book retailers would be required to give Apple a 30% cut on any book sold. This wipes out any profit for a book retailer and has already put small book retailer iFlowReader out of business. Apple has not yet blocked the ebook reader apps from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. But they could, and both book retailers know it.

To me, the in app purchase policy is not a smart move by Apple. Up until now, they have had very little real competition in the iPod and iPad space. Now they are creating 2 very large and highly motivated competitors. Apple's own actions are creating the competition for their devices. Plus, Apple is also opening themselves up to anti-trust scrutiny with this move.

The stories indicate Amazon is creating a whole family of devices. Mainly tablets from 7" to 10". Don't be surprised if this move includes iPod touch like music and movie playing devices as well. Amazon has to protect its business anyplace you would read a book, listen to a song, or play a movie.

So if you are thinking about getting a tablet or an iPod touch. You may want to wait a few months. The hounds of competition are about to be unleashed.
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