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Bezos Hints At Amazon Tablet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t confirm a Samsung-built tablet,  but he’s not saying no — in fact, the tell-it-like-it-is founder of the massive e-tailer suggested quite the opposite in an interview with Consumer Reports.On this interview Bezos told the publication that if such a device were on the way, it would be complementary to Amazon’s existing Kindle………..

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview this week to “stay tuned” on the company’s plans for a possible tablet device that would likely supplement, rather than replace, the company’s Kindle e-reader and earlier this week about the possibility of a multipurpose tablet device from Amazon.Bezos also said that if Amazon were to do a tablet, it wouldn’t replace the Kindle but be sold alongside it. That seems rather obvious, but that he was even talking hypothetically about such a scenario strongly indicates that a tablet is coming; it’s only a matter of when, what size it will be and how much it will cost.The tablet will almost assuredly have a color LCD, a fact that Bezos also hinted at in his conversation with Consumer Reports. He said that color e-ink is not ready for prime time…the colors are very pale, but it makes a lot of sense for there to be a low-power, reflective color display. I think that’s something you could build a fantastic product around.”Ironically, E Ink, the company behind the monochrome e-ink displays in the Kindle and other e-readers, has a subsidiary called Hydis that makes LCD displays with Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology that improves the color gamut and viewing angles.

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that a Kindle with special offers and sponsored screensavers would help anyone who wants a Kindle to be able to afford a Kindle. The ad-loaded Kindle retails for $114, compared with the $139 base Kindle model and the $189 Kindle 3G.One imagines such a system would give pause to readers trying to decide whether to buy a Nook from Barnes & Noble or an iPad for consuming books.Arment, on his blog, imagined this system applied to a tablet as looking something like this:

  • A 7-inch tablet, to keep costs down, named something like the Kindle Color, Kindle Tablet, or Kindle Touch.
  • Android, but with Amazon’s media-storefront apps and the Amazon App Store to download new apps all pre-linked to your Amazon payment information (like today’s Kindle) for one-tap purchases.
  • A very aggressive entry price of $200-300, with the entry-level model being subsidized by up to $100 worth of ads; the idea is to compete with the iPad on price.
  • Prominent promotion on Amazon’s front page every day.

 

Part of what makes the idea interesting is that it seems like something Google, the largest Internet advertising company, could and would do to promote its own Android tablets but hasn’t to date. Google has marketed its own Nexus line of phones, of which there are currently two and is rumored to be building a Nexus tablet.The Amazon tablet meme doesn’t quite come from out of left field. Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps wrote in a blog post March 10 that Amazon could create a compelling Android– or Linux-based tablet and entice users with apps from its Amazon Appstore for Android and features such as one-click purchasing, Amazon Prime service and its recommendations engine.The idea would be to offer users an alternative to the stringent rules Apple has created for e-book sellers and publishers that require in-application payments, which potentially freezes out Amazon. Other analysts differed in their feeling on the matter. Analyst Jack Gold acknowledged Amazon’s brand recognition and ability to sell products but said the price of the device would be key.

 

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