That's ZDNet's Jason Perlow who is going there in bold letters without a question mark, for ZDNet -- and for once I somewhat agree with him that it's possible although not likely for awhile, and not this year.
It's occurred to me for days that Amazon bought Touchco quite some time ago and I've read that they're busy but Amazon has no plans for a touch screen for the Kindle E-Reader, they say. Smart wording. I also read that Qualcomm feels their Mirasol technology (e-paper like, muted color, fast enough to do video and easy on batteries) may be ready to be in e-readers by year-end. At the same time, full-scale production could not happen until next year, another article said, so who knows. Testing would take months after that.
At the same time, Amazon's Lab126 has had job ads for some time, for video and animation programmers. Why? And why not a less-expensive LCD Tablet with a *secondary* function of e-reading, for color magazines, travel books, cook books with enticing illustrations, and for ENHANCED KINDLE BOOKS that are coming out with multimedia enhancements while a plain-text version isn't available? One is by Rick Springfield, Late, Late at Night. That's a Kindle book obviously available only for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices...for now. There are other enhanced Kindle books also.
Would Amazon give up that area? They can use Apple's iPad well without worrying about developing and maintaining another piece of hardware/software. But, there is a target audience that won't be interested in anything BUT a color device and which doesn't care about long-form reading particularly nor about black and white E-Ink. As Barnes and Noble marketing knows, there are also families with young children who are blissed out by the iPad or would like something like that if it weren't so expensive while somewhat fragile for that market.
I've thought that Jeff Bezos' talk with Charlie Rose made clear he didn't want color E-ink for the Kindle - it's not ready. But what about a tablet that concentrates on younger reading, color books, magazines, and web browsing.
Would Bezos allow another e-reader to partner with Qualcomm for the first Mirasol e-reader/tablet? Would he give up the relatively inexpensive LCD color market whether or not people can easily view an LCD outdoors?
So, I've wondered. And now ZDNet has come out with an eye-catching headline on Amazon's "Secret" Tablet. Conjecture but interesting.
According to Perlow and cohorts, Amazon has the infrastructure and support needed for a successful tablet. Read his column for the details though. He speculates:
' The only reason why Amazon would want to develop its own App Store would be to offer the service to low-cost device manufacturers in order to compete with the Android Market, or to provide an app ecosystem for a device of its very own. 'He's taking a "wild guess" -- and there is NOTHING on this but speculation.
Although, he says,
' licensing to 3rd-parties is not out of the question ... based on my examination of the initial materials which have leaked, Amazon’s App Store is most likely to have a “curated” model similar to Apple’s App Store, in order to maintain quality control as well as deny potential competitors access to it. This is in stark contrast to the Android Market, which is effectively a Wild West with limited acceptance criteria. '
He wonders if it might even sport a dual mode transflective LCD display (w/an e-paper capability) such as Pixel Q's. If so, it'd be the first ereader tablet that would be readable outdoors. We're getting way ahead of ourselves though, and he adds this disclaimer for those hoping for something this year:
"When this Amazon Tablet is likely to appear is anyone’s guess.
It’s unlikely to be this coming holiday season."
Well, I agree on that too, because putting out a bug-free model with such a change in technology, just to catch the holiday season, would be a bad idea.
So, ZDNet has some eyes for its latest column, and I thought I'd report on their conjecture and my own, though it's extremely UNLIKELY there'll be anything at all ready before next spring.
I wonder how many would be happy to have an inexpensive, unusable in sunlight e-reader tablet that uses LCD color. The image in the header is of two Microsoft Windows Tablets. Might Amazon partner with someone else on the hardware? I don't think so. I think Control is important.
Many say that, for themselves, all they care about is color, but what if it's smaller and they can use it only indoors and it has short battery life, weighs a pound, and takes forever to charge? Do people want that? Wouldn't people want to wait for the flexible e-ink surface that's coming before spending money on one for children?
At any rate, I might ultimately like a *secondary* e-reader that does do ePub and color, as an extra reader. How much would I pay for that? I don't know. I haven't been tempted by anything yet (because I wouldn't pay that much for a secondary reader unless I know it functions well and that'll take some time), though I'm gadget-attracted -- for now, it doesn't fill a need, in my case. Probably because I have such a great, small but multi-featured, 2.7 lb netbook.
A want, maybe -- sometimes. But now the Galaxy 7" Tablet, with 2 cameras, an SD slot, a web browser - with up to 8 open windows at one time - and which runs Flash (tho' slow to load it), plus an e-reader function, is getting both very good reviews yesterday (one by Engadget) and a meh one today from another reviewer. For one thing, it's small but would cost a bit more than the larger iPad (portability costs as do the additional features the iPad doesn't have). It's a confusing area, the 7" e-reader/tablet field. One to step into carefully, for both buyers and makers.
Kindle 3's (UK: Kindle 3's), DX Graphite
Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!