Amazon has been growing its arsenal of tablet worthy software and services for some time now, and from a business standpoint it makes perfect sense to enter a market in which it is already so familiar. With the Cloud Drive, their controversial cloud-based music streaming service already available, and a number of other digital distribution networks for the many forms of media commonly demanded on tablets, Amazon is all set to head straight to the top of the increasingly congested tablet market, with a potentially impressive combination of tablet hardware and software.
One of the key services that will undoubtedly be implemented onto an Amazon tablet will be Kindle functionality. Amazon’s eBook service is far and away industry leading, it sells more eBooks than physical hardbacks now, and is already hosted on its own hardware as well as being available as an app on every other device under the sun (almost). But could this be a hinderance to the large scale adoption of an Amazon tablet?
If Amazon attempts to push the Kindle as a key selling point of the tablet, which will sport an LCD display, and identical functionality is available on every other tablet out there, then what’s the point of going for this over an Apple iPad, HP Touchpad, Blackberry Playbook or Android tablet? The Kindle itself has the e-ink screen, which separates it by huge gulfs from other tablets. This will have no such selling point, and could suffer as a result.
Having said that, Amazon’s software suite is growing, even to the point that it has its own Android App Store, which will undoubtedly be the OS of choice on the tablet, though which version remains elusive news, so it has a far stronger grounding to head on its own ventures than the wealth of other tablet manufacturers.
It will be interesting to see what Amazon does with Android, though, and whether there will be any custom skin, or custom twist to the OS like so many have done before. There is a lot of room for manoeuvre with Amazon particularly, it depends how deeply integrated the Amazon software and services will be integrated, or whether they will simply be deployed as standalone applications on top of a stock Honeycomb build.
The rumours swirling strongly suggest that Samsung will be the manufacturer of choice for Amazon, though that’s not to say the design will resemble the Galaxy Tabs, though if the recent additions to the Galaxy Tab line are anything to go by, that wouldn’t be a weak starting point at all.
The growth of Amazon over recent years has been extraordinary, and it now seems perfectly placed to enter the fray with a carefully calculated move, unlike so many tablet manufacturers before who seem to just be eager to get any product out, regardless of quality and individuality, and we could be in for a little more competition on the software front, which is the more imperative side to a tablet with regards to setting it apart from the rest.
It will certainly be fascinating to see how this unfolds towards the end of this year, and how Amazon goes about the marketing side of its inevitable tablet. Perhaps we’ll see more options for their non-eBook content, such as their TV/movie video rentals, especially here in the UK since Amazon now own LoveFilm?
Would you be interested in an Amazon tablet device, or are you happy to stick with the likes of an iPad and just install apps onto it which give you the functionality you want?