Sean Udall is the author of the TechStrat Report. The following is a free sample. Take a free trial!
There seems to be a lot of conjecture about the forthcoming Amazon
(AMZN) Tablet -- what I've called the next Kindle or Kindle Color, though the name is less important than other factors. Here's what I think the product will be and won't be.
First, there are some people who have had there hands on an early version, and while these beta versions may not have contained the full functionality, it's likely they were nearly fully formed. What Amazon's Tablet Is
- It's a version of Android. Though it's an early version, which is forked and heavily customized. I believe I've read that it's based on the Android 2.2 variant.
- It will run the Amazon App store, but likely not the full Android App Store.
- It's color.
- It's a Web/e-mail connected device.
- It's a media device and thus an extension of Amazon's media consumption strategy.
- It's likely to sell at $249.
- It's a 7-inch screen device.
- It may hurt sales of the lowest price point Android tablets.
- I believe it's a precursor to a larger more robust tablet which would probably contain the newer version Android for tablets.
- In short, it's the next Kindle, just in color (like Barnes & Noble's (BKS) Nook) and with many basic Web/surfing/e-mail/app functionalities.
What Amazon's Tablet Is Not:
- Based on the heavily forked nature of its embedded Android version, it is doubtful to be upgraded to each new version of Android for tablets.
- The performance specifications will not match the higher end Android tablets or Apple (AAPL) iPads.
- As alluded to above, it won't connect to the Android App store.
- Contrary to many opinions, I don't think it will severely hamper sales of the higher end/leading Android tablets.
- To this point, I also don't view it as an iPad killer. Again, it's most likely not in the same class with computing power and total functionality.
- From what I've seen it probably doesn't contain 3/4G connectivity.
- It's not going to be a flop. (It will sell strongly.)
- It's not going to replace the original Kindle. People still want a daylight ready reader.
So, in an hour or so we will see how many of these predictions will be correct. And in weeks to months we will see if this product is going to be the winner I think it is, as well as see if it ends up posing a material threat to the higher end Android tablets or iPads (which again, I disagree with). I think this product will fit into or nearly create another product category. Most likely this extends the interest in small form factor connected computing and supports my AAAOC thesis.
Position in AAPL, GOOG
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