Originally published: September 27, 2011
Last updated: September 27, 2011 - 3:13pm
On Sept 28, Amazon holds a major launch event and will likely unveil its first tablet, the Kindle Fire. To date, everyone bar Apple has failed with tablet launches. If Amazon mimics Apple then its tablet will fail too. Apple has too many economies of scale, industrial design expertise and supplier relationships for a retail-centric company like Amazon to emulate. To succeed, Amazon must take a different approach. Amazon cares little about the post-PC world, unlike Apple and Microsoft who are playing that different game. Instead, Amazon is driven by a post disc and post print world where all media will be digital. Amazon will build a true media tablet. The first true media tablet. The Kindle tablet will focus on the future of all media — TV, movies, music, books, magazines — to enable Amazon to become the dominant digital media retailer. That is Amazon’s ambition.
On that basis, here are the areas to watch for in Amazon’s tablet product launch and what impact each item will have on the market:
- The extent to which the Kindle tablet’s business model is content-subsidized.
- The extent of the app catalogue available at launch and soon afterwards.
- The type of color screen used.
- Whether there is any business relationship with Google.
- The role for new visual eBook and magazine formats.
- Type of connectivity, 3G / WiFi, and route to market.
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