The Android ecosystem is crying out for a
viable iPad competitor and it seems as if an as-yet-unnamed and unannounced tablet from
Amazon is being seen as the saviour.
The Amazon tablet has been rumoured to launch this October and today research firm Forrester said it believed the
tablet could ship more units in its first quarter than the iPad did in its first
However Forrester did add a couple of caveats to the claim,
saying that Amazon would have to pitch the price of its tablet correctly and
ensure it had enough supplies to meet demand.
“If it’s launched at the right price with enough supply, we
see Amazon’s tablet easily selling 3 million to 5 million units in Q4 alone,
disrupting not only Apple’s product strategy but other tablet manufacturers’ as
well,” says Sarah Rotman Epps, the report’s author.
The iPad, which launched in April 2010, sold around 3.3
million units in its first three months and has since gone on to sell around 30
million units between the original and the iPad 2.
Epps believes that Amazon would have to price its 9in tablet at around $299 to compete with the more expensive iPad. Besides the
obvious reason for pricing its tablet lower than Apple’s slate, Epps believes
that Amazon’s ability to make money from apps and services on its tablet would
make up for the lower price.
The problem so far for Android tablets has been the
inability to get developers to produce tablet-specific apps. While Apple claims
the iPad has 100,000 tablet-specific apps, Android tablets have less than 500
available to them.
“If Amazon’s Android-based tablet sells in the millions,
Android will suddenly appear much more attractive to developers who have taken
a wait-and-see approach,” Epps said.
Of course, this is all in the realm of guess work at the moment, considering Amazon hasn’t even gone on record to say it will launch a tablet this year. However looking at the success of the Kindle we wouldn’t bet against Jeff Bezos and Co coming up with a pretty inviting tablet offering.