Amazon Kindle takes on Apple iPad
Reports from component manufacturers suggest that Amazon’s rival to the iPad could ship in the second half of 2011
First Amazon’s Kindle revolutionised the book market – now the company is set to release its own rival to Apple’s iPad.
Taiwanese manufacturers are gearing up to produce up to 800,000 of the new tablet devices per month in the second half of this year, sources at Quanta, a company that also works for BlackBerry and Sony said.
The new Kindle is likely to be based on Google’s operating system Android, and has caused excitement because Amazon already sells movies and music downloads. Amazon has also recently launched its own App store to rival that provided by Apple.
The original Kindle is the number one selling product across Amazon.co.uk, and since its American launch the Kindle has also been the top-selling product on Amazon.com.
The company recently announced that it would cut the price for a version of the device that also includes advertising. It is estimated that 8 million were sold in 2010.
As many customers already have Amazon accounts with credit cards attached, a new Kindle device may not face the difficulties that many Android devices have faced in persuading people to sign up and make purchases.
Analyst Adam Leach of Ovum described Amazon as “the elephant in the room in the tablet market.
The combination of a strong brand and loyal customers with content they could sell would make it an attractive prospect. The Amazon Music Store and books would be compelling and unique.”
Amazon also has a history of innovative devices; although the Kindle device is popular, the company has also introduced a range of applications for phones, computers and tablets that let users read electronic books on the move.
Wireless technology allows downloads and purchases, and automatically synchronises the devices so that users never lose their place in a text.
A ‘bookshelf’ sales model was also demonstrated when Microsoft first promoted Internet Explorer 9, for instance, and the Kindle itself also includes a rudimentary web-browser.
Details of the device, beyond the likelihood of its being Android-based, have yet to emerge. The launch, however, could also be accompanied by a price cut for the current Kindle ereader. Amazon declined to comment.