Still have doubts that Amazon is planning to unleash a tablet of its own? Amazon gave TechCrunch an exclusive look (no pics, though) and fondling for its upcoming 7-inch Kindle Tablet. Will a Kindle Tablet have what it takes to make a splash?
Originally rumored to be two models, a 7-inch and a 10-inch, TechCrunch suspects the 10-inch won't make it out until next year.
So, the plainly named "Amazon Kindle" will sport a 7-inch screen (resolution unknown) with a single-core (unconfirmed) processor, 6GB of internal storage, micro-USB port, speakers (on top), zero cameras and maybe a SD card slot,
The device runs on a custom Kindle OS powered by Android and features a carousel that is reminiscent of iTunes' Cover Flow for accessing apps, music, movies, e-books etc. There are no buttons on the face of the device and the entire interface will be black, dark blue and orange.
Hmm. Without much to stack it against, it would appear Amazon might downplay the tablet's technical prowess. After all, you can't expect much horsepower out of a $250 Kindle tablet unless it's secretly the $99 HP TouchPad on fire sale.
The 7-inch tablet market's been a hard one to tap — but there's a lot of room for a competitive tablet, if only because 7-inch tablets are easier to hold in one hand and tote around than giant iPads.
Right now, we have the PlayBook, HTC Flyer, Nook Color, Acer Iconia Tab A100, ViewSonic ViewPad 7, Galaxy Tab (original) and the Samsung Tab 7.7 (although, its disappearance from IFA's show floors worries).
The Kindle tablet's obvious enemy is the Nook Color — it being the main 7-inch e-book reader/tablet hybrid that consumers are actually buying, despite it not having an E Ink screen. The PlayBook is a pretty great alternative, but at double the Nook Color's price, it's not particularly attractive as an e-reader.
What's interesting is that TechCrunch's MG Siegler says the device looks very much like the PlayBook, due to its matte rubbery back and button-less face. Sounds like a win to us. We loved the PlayBook's clean and simple design.
The Amazon Difference
Aside from having the strong Kindle brand, Amazon's aligned its content services to almost guarantee the Kindle tablet's success. As we're sure you're aware of, any piece of hardware without the necessary concentration of content flowing in is already dead in its water — it's one of the reasons why the iPad is so successful — it has all those bajillion apps in its App Store.
The Kindle tablet will have its full share of the digital goodies, just like the iPad. It'll have e-books from the Kindle app, games via apps from the Amazon Android Appstore, music from the Cloud Player and movie from the Instant Video player.
Amazon's services is just about the best alternative to Apple's iBooks, iTunes and the App Store there is right now. With a tablet, Amazon will be able to package all of its services into one device.
Amazon's got a real good shot at grabbing some of this tablet market. And if the idea of it throwing in a free subscription of Amazon Prime, which in turn gives you free access to its Instant Video service, then I think we've got a device that will be doing a little disrupting later this year.