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Can Amazon stand above the fray and make sense of the Android / tablet mess?

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones / Entertainment' started by Sam Posten, May 4, 2011.

  1. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    A lot of people seem to think that a Tablet based kindle is coming sooner than originally expected. I think if anyone could give Apple a run for its money it just might be Amazon, especially given how deeply Amazon groks the current digital landscape and is willing to be a leader here in things that are important to their survival where everyone else just wants to stand on the shoulders of a platform...

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/05/amazon-may-enter-tablet-fray-in-second-half-of-2011.ars

    http://emoney.allthingsd.com/20110427/dear-amazon-shareholders-we-want-to-rule-the-world-love-jeff-bezos/?mod=ATD_rss

    http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1018724/000119312511110797/dex991.htm

    Meant to add: If this is true it would surprise me AT ALL for Amazon to be building their own OS and not using Android! It's the only way for them to really compete without being Google's bitch. Maybe they can start with an Android fork and blaze on from there.
     
  2. Adam Gregorich

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    Interesting. If you had asked me who would be building a tablet, Amazon wouldn't have been in my top 10 responses, but I think it makes a lot of sense.
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Nice "we want to rule the world" letters to the shareholders...

    _Man_
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This would be interesting.

    I spent a couple hours playing with my dad's Kindle. I searched, found, downloaded, and read the trial chapter of John Scalzi's "Old Man's War". Then, after my dead bought a Philip K. Dick short story collection, read two short stories. I was fairly impressed. After getting over the device's physical awkwardness (after nine months of iPhone use), it was a pleasant experience. The device-store integration is part of what I like so much about my iPhone. And the ability to trivially get free and paid content onto the device meets or exceeds my expectations.

    And as I've considered the comments in the "How to Beat Apple" thread, and my own "you've got to be awesome" opinion, I feel that it's not about individual hardware or software features, but the collective experience. Apple gives me a world to play in, software, hardware, content that all work together easily. And I can also put my own stuff in too, easily (be it ripped DVDs or Kindle books).

    And then there's my experience with Verizon, seeing what happens when company with no sales-reason to be a good retailer tries to become a retailer: FAIL, as the kids say.

    So Amazon: they've got it all. They're a killer retailer and are known for high-quality customer service. They've got fingers in all media and have been running the largest ebook store for a couple years now. And they recognize that they're essentially a giant online, web-services supercomputer with a retail store bolted on; that portends the ability to launch a full-featured "cloud" system to service mobile devices. They've got some experience with cell carriers, having negotiated the Kindle's free wireless access. And they've got experience in actual hardware, with the Kindle.

    Amazon could do it, perhaps. But I won't guess if they can really pull it off. It will be interesting to see. :)
     
  5. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Let's be fair here Dave, they don't have it all yet. They don't have an OS. They don't have a culture that promotes exceptional user satisfaction with hardware / software / human interaction.

    Google has one of the two...
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    They don't have it all. But they have a culture of providing excellent customer satisfaction and of selling affordable things to zillions of people. Couple that with Android, and you might have a real jump up in Android's total system.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Yes please:
    http://www.bgr.com/2011/05/16/amazon-prepping-dual-core-coyote-and-quad-core-hollywood-tablets-for-2011/
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Is the Tegra slower, comparable, or faster than the iPad's A5?
     
  9. mattCR

    mattCR Well-Known Member
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    I will agree with this. Amazon's customer service is pretty impeccable. I have never had anything where I couldn't have Amazon sort it out quickly. I order from them on a weekly basis and it's like clockwork. Their Prime membership is one of the best "opt-in" policies out there outside of the Costco card I've found anywhere.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I'd say roughly comparable, worse on battery consumption. Same generation mobile tech, vastly different design goals.

    Oh, and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!!
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/17/google-versus-amazon-android/
     
  11. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Latest rumors say Nvidia is out...
    http://9to5mac.com/2011/06/22/amazons-integrated-tablet-to-arrive-in-60-days-mount-serious-challenge-to-ipad/
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Rumble rumble rumble
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303406104576444213058153874.html
    http://allthingsd.com/20110713/amazon-to-release-9-inch-tablet-this-fall/?mod=socialflow
     
  13. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    Huh... If they're just outsourcing the whole thing, design and all, then it probably won't be much better than other tablets already out there now...

    _Man_
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Worked for Google at the beginning!
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    TechCrunch believes it won't be a major threat to Apple to start, but it IS a rallying point possibility for Android:
    http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/13/amazon-tablet-android/
    Ars is even more in depth:
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/07/googles-android-dominance-to-be-challenged-by-amazon-tablet.ars
    And Gruber believes Amazon is shooting for the stars here and will additionally really cut google out of most of the glory:
    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/07/14/siegler-amazon-tablet
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I was going to speculate that Amazon isn't a software house and wouldn't fork Android, at least not immediately. But then I just saw a DaringFireball about Amazon possibly having a dedicated software team working on a substantial variation of Android designed for their own goals.
    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2011/07/14/siegler-amazon-tablet

    The WSJ article seemed silly in its discussion of potential tablet pricing. Apple too could sell the iPad at cost and make it up on content sales. But they don't because they like big profits. And by that reasoning, Amazon could presumably sell the Kindle for even less, making it up on book sales. But they don't, seeing as they still haven't broken $99. So will Amazon sell a tablet at cost and make it up off MP3 and Kindle sales? I'm skeptical.
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Again, I refer you to this:
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-shareholders-geek-out-on-bezos-letter-2011-04-27
    "Invention is in our DNA"
     
  18. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    I hope they do fork Android and make it better, but keep it compatible enough w/ (and open to) whatever good stuff already exists in the Android ecosystem. If nothing else, would be good to at least have some of the Google core apps, including Maps and Navigation -- yeah, turn-by-turn GPS on a tablet seems excessive, but hey, I'd like to keep an open mind about that, especially if I end up going for something on the smaller side.

    I probably wouldn't want what B&N did w/ the Nook Color for a full-fledged Amazon Android tablet. They can call it whatever they want (and just marginize the Android name for all I care), but it needs to not block/lock-out the entire rest of the Android world like was done by B&N for their NC (for the most part so far sans rooting the device). Of course, I guess the current Amazon (Android) App Store already points to them not likely to go down the B&N route...

    _Man_
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    It's not a "thing" yet....
    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2011/08/amazons-tablet-will-be-androids-white-knight.ars
     
  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Why is every rumor: they'll sell each unit at a loss and make it up in volume? We're talking about Amazon, not the international Bank of change, right? The Kindle's aren't sold at a loss, are they? Why would Amazon take a bigger loss on tablets? Will they make so much more money on selling media than Apple does that they can justify a loss leader hardware device?
     

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