Amazon plans to launch a tablet computer by October, that is seen by some market observers as rival of Apple’s iPad . The company’s entry into the tablet market was hinted by Chief Executive Jeff Bezos last week.
Amazon’s tablet will have an approximately nine-inch screen and will run on Google’s Android platform. Unlike the iPad , it won’t have a camera. While the pricing and distribution of the device are unclear, it was leaked out that the online retailer won’t design the initial tablet itself, but it is outsourcing production to an Asian manufacturer.
Amazon.com and Apple are already top competitors when it comes to digital books , digital music and mobile applications. Now the two bands will battle on the tablet market.
While Amazon has long offered digital content through its online store, it has lacked much of the hardware to go with it. Launching its own tablet is a logical addition to the range of already developed and offered products, that will tremendously increase the market share of the Seattle based company. Customers are expected to use the tablet to buy and rent content with Amazon’s website.
In recent years, Apple, Amazon and Google Inc. have found themselves striving in areas such as the mobile software market and digital content. The overlap stems from a race to tap into the young and growing field of selling digital goods , such as video, music and books, which are potentially vast markets as more consumers turn to downloads.
Apple and Amazon have already had some bitter confrontations. In March, Apple sued Amazon alleging the online retailer had violated the trademark on the name “App Store .” However, both rely on each other as a partners, but at the same time, they aggressively compete for customers’ attention and cash.
Amazon faces a tough road against Apple in the tablet market. So far, Apple is a leader and since introducing the iPad last year the company had sold over 19.5 million of the devices as of the end of March this year. The iPad has been supported by its connection to Apple’s App Store, which sells video games and other software, and Apple’s iTunes store, where people can easily download music, videos and books.
Amazon will be facing competitors also other than Apple. Sony Corp. on Wednesday unveiled prototypes of a tablet and a wallet-shaped dual-screen portable device that will offer movies, apps, music, books and PlayStation games. Sony said the devices would be available later this year.
All together, Amazon is better-positioned than other companies to go up against Apple, because it already has a digital-content store with a significant selection and following. The company has heavily promoted its digital offerings this year. It launched a streaming video service in February.
Amazon is also in a position to offer a cheaper substitute to the iPad. It could sell the tablet bellow competitors prices, while realizing profits on sales of movies, music and books.
Customers are always on the search for a cheaper alternative, and they’re looking for a convincing experience, in terms of both – substance and shopping, which Amazon can offer.