Tablets are the products on everyone’s lips at the moment, yet for the last 18 months, it has only been the iPad that has converted talk into sales. An abundance of vendors have attempted to break the mold with any number of failed forays into the tablet market, some more aggressively than others, but none have really come close to the hype surrounding Amazon’s tablet launch.
The ‘Kindle Fire’, Amazon’s new tablet, is the brainchild of Jeff Bezos and co. over at Amazon, and here’s why finally, we might have something that can genuinely upset the Apple cart, as it were.
1. An Established Brand
This isn’t unique to Amazon, but when placed alongside what’s to come, it could prove an invaluable asset. That is that Amazon is a globally renowned brand, where millions of shoppers flock like digital sheep to buy all sorts of goods.
The company is a behemoth of the e-commerce, online retail world, and what that gives them is a head start when it comes to consumer loyalty, trust and a general willingness to part with cash. On top of that, with this many daily visitors intent on spending money when they go to the site, there’s a ready-made, golden marketing opportunity waiting to be exploited. Consumers can’t possibly fail to notice it.
2. The Kindle
I certainly hope the Kindle tablet won’t resemble or intend to replace, the e-ink e-reading I love and regularly use, however, the name is already familiar to millions of consumers who bought the original. From a business and marketing standpoint, relating the tablet to the reader is the perfect opportunity to entice consumers to buy one.
Particularly in the run-up to the holiday season, when shoppers are looking for gifts, touting the tablet as an upgrade to the e-ink Kindle that so many people will have received last Christmas and at any point since or before, creates the potential for the tablet to appeal to consumers who might not even know what a tablet is.
3. App Store
The Android operating system will be the driving force of the Kindle tablet. There had been whispers of it running the same OS as the BlackBerry Playbook, but Amazon has recently invested a lot of time, effort and undoubted money into developing its own app store to rival the standard Android Market.
The point of doing this would be called into question slightly should it not be deployed on a tablet. There was also speculation that a pair of tablets would be unleashed at the event, perhaps one running Android and another something different, but now we know its a single tablet running Android OS. Either way, it would be naïve of Amazon to ignore the existence of the Android Market in favor of its own option, however using its own store helps the company keep a higher leash on the device and a developing ecosystem.
4. Media Distribution
On a similar note, continuing the parallels with What Apple is doing with the iPad, Amazon boasts one of the world’s largest media distribution networks and one of the closest rivals to iTunes in its Amazon MP3 store and Amazon Cloud Player.
Furthermore, Amazon has recently unveiled a spate of deals it has struck up with various publishing firms with the clear intention of creating a content-driven device to rival the iPad. Apple already has iTunes, with NewsStand coming in iOS 5, and Amazon’s deals with Fox for TV shows and movies, as well as a trio of major magazine publishing companies, with the exception of Time, inc. is going to take the Kindle tablet closer than previously thought possible to the iPad’s vast arsenal of accessible content.
Amazon Prime is the name of the service, and now that these deals are in place, it is purported that Amazon will have the right to distribute over 11,000 movies and TV shows from various producers including Sony, Warner Bros, and CBS, through its Prime Instant Video service. “ You’ve got beauty and design with Apple, which we love,” one publisher with an Amazon deal told Kafka. “But with Amazon, you have marketing, and ease of use. We’re very optimistic.”
While we’re on the subject of publishers, it’s worth nothing that Amazon’s terms are said to be strikingly similar to those struck with Apple, in that 70% of the revenue will go to the publishers, and the rest to Amazon, however the latter is, unlike Apple, allowed to fluctuate these terms depending on the content in question, so more or less of the profits can be snatched by Bezos.
5. Quality on a Budget
Android tablets at the cheaper end of the scale have had their fair share of success, without too much expectation. No, they haven’t been able to compete with the iPad, but that might just be because of the brand behind them and the reality that a low price-tag usually means low-quality.
Well in this instance, should Amazon opt for the lower price point, undercutting the iPad, as is predicted, then consumers may well deem it a viable, cheaper, alternative to the iPad when before, anything other than an iPad would usually be sneered at, rejected, or only begrudgingly accepted.
This links back to the first point I made, and that is that people trust Amazon, and trust the quality to be of an acceptable quality with acceptable performance, whether it actually is or not.
Obviously, I’m not suggesting that this is a license to make a poor product, but it’s a hotly anticipated launch and any product should sell at the start, and it’s up to Amazon to ensure that the product is of enough quality to represent good value for money whatever the price tag.
So there’s my take on why I think the Amazon tablet can be a success, but it’s not for me to say that it certainly will be a big seller. I don’t think it will overthrow the iPad as the sought after tablet, but I think it’s fair to assume that it’ll be filling a few stockings come Christmas.
If you have any thoughts regarding the Amazon tablet, then feel free to comment with your thoughts below, and check back over the coming days for our coverage and commentary about this highly anticipated product.
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- Google Music Vs. Amazon Cloud Player Vs. Apple iCloud, Which One Is Right For You?