Amazon expected to unveil tablet next week

Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:13pm EDT

Amazon.com President, Chief Executive and Chairman Jeffrey Bezos speaks with employers and attendees at the Consumer Reports headquarters in Yonkers, New York, May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Amazon.com President, Chief Executive and Chairman Jeffrey Bezos speaks with employers and attendees at the Consumer Reports headquarters in Yonkers, New York, May 11, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

Related News

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, which revolutionized reading with its Kindle e-reader, is expected to unveil a tablet computer next week that analysts say will seriously challenge Apple's market dominating iPad.

Amazon on Friday invited media to a press conference to be held in New York next Wednesday, declining to provide further details.

But analysts were confident that the world's largest Internet retailer will introduce its long-awaited tablet computer this year to expand in mobile commerce and sell more digital goods and services.

"Wednesday is tablet day," BGC partners analyst Colin Gillis told Reuters.

The tablet has been awaited as a strong competitor to Apple Inc's iPad. Apple has sold about 29 million of the devices since its launch in April 2010.

"The real issue here is that, you know, it is likely going to be good for consumers; is this going to be good for shareholders?," Gillis said. He wondered whether Amazon would price the tablet below those of rivals -- and thereby do little to boost margins.

"Knowing Amazon, it is likely to be a very aggressive price," Gillis said.

In much the same way Amazon's Kindle e-reader was priced low to quickly get traction among readers the company is likely to keep the price of its tablet low to attract users and sell other content and services, one analyst said.

"It's a marketing tool to build a relationship with customers and sell them cloud (computing) services," said James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research.

While Amazon has remained tight lipped even about the device's existence, the TechCrunch blog earlier this month said the Amazon tablet also will be called Kindle.

It will be a 7 inch device with a full color, touch screen, run on Google's Android software and cost $250, the blog said, well below the price of the least expensive iPad.

Robert Baird & Co analyst Colin Sebastian said in a note last month than an Amazon tablet would be a "game-changer." Sebastian forecast the device could sell 3 million units in its first year.

The tablet could pose a major threat to Apple because of the Kindle's popularity and the movie and music services Amazon sells.

Forrester's McQuivey said the device also takes aim at Barnes & Noble Inc's NookColor device, which hit the market last year and features tablet functionalities.

Several technology companies like Research In Motion and Samsung have introduced tablets that sold poorly. Hewlett Packard Co announced recently it would abandon its tablet.

Amazon shares finished the day up 0.2 percent at $223.61 on Friday on Nasdaq. The stock had traded as low as $219.06, but rallied as invitations to the media event began arriving.

(Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan, Phil Wahba and Alistair Barr in New York; Editing by Derek Caney, Gerald E. McCormick and Carol Bishopric)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (3)
NoCarbon wrote:
From what I’ve read about the Amazon tablet, Apple now has something to
worry about. The Amazon tablet seems to have the potential to go toe to toe with the iPad and come out ahead. This may be instructive in showing
just how much Apple can count on its name justifying its high prices. This economic environment would seem ideal for launching a tablet that can potentially destroy Apple’s dominance and force Apple to lower the
price of its stuff. Amazon hit a home run with its Kindle and seems
well positioned to produce an iPad killer. If that happens, look for
Apple iPad owners to get steamed and angry. Or go into denial.

Sep 23, 2011 3:42pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
hereone wrote:
Nook Color Android-based tablet/eReader from Barnes & Noble has been on the market for over a year and sold millions of units at $250. Gives Flash, apps, videos, color magazines and ebooks with video inserts, and the best anti-glare coated screen on the market. Technology “leader” Amazon is finally catching up with the book store company by copying their device.
Kindle only supports eBooks in its proprietary AZW format. Nook, on the other hand, supports both DRM-protected and DRM-free ebooks in ePub format thus it supports ebooks from B&N store, from any other DRM-free source on the web, and from public libraries.
If you walk in with the Nook to Barnes & Noble store, you’re allowed to read any available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the store Wi-Fi.
Nook Color has several apps that already come with the device (Pandora Internet radio, QuickOffice, etc.) and hundreds of other apps are available for download. Also, you can use the Social Settings screen to link your NOOK Color to your Facebook account and your Twitter account. You can also import all your contacts from your Google Gmail account. Once you have linked to Facebook and Twitter and set up email contacts, you can lend and borrow books, recommend books, and share favorite quotes with your friends. Nook store has over 2 million of paid books and about the same number of free public domain books.

Sep 23, 2011 11:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
PDFreader wrote:
7 inches is just too small, certainly for reading most PDF documents.

Sep 26, 2011 9:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.