Not tremendously exciting but Tim Bajarin is passing along what he's hearing. In essence:
. center of its design would be on reading books
. sources say Amazon is using pretty low-cost parts and not using any
of the major manufacturers.
. key goal: make the tablet "very inexpensive"
"as much as 20 to 25 percent below cost"
. use a new business model to 'own' the Android tablet market
(not targeting Apple)
. go for usual low-cost razor idea, with Android Appstore, streaming movie
and music services as the blades
. apply users' purchases to their tablet through a 2-yr amortized
program to cover lost physical cost of tablet and more
. add in Cloud service revenue + advertising...
As he says, this is what he hears is being 'highly considered.'
This matches general speculations for the last two months.
But with the 'very inexpensive' mantra (definitely a 'prayer'), Amazon may be in a spot if they don't intend this. And yet, Barnes and Noble has done that with the 7" NookColor (essentially a tablet, or at least many of us use it that way), with its gorgeous screen, at the $250~ price point.
Amazon would need to make a screen at least as good as that one, in my view. I am hoping its book-reading capabilities for any 7" tablet will have more basic features (Landscape mode and Zoom-in on images) than the NookColor does, but that's just my own hope there.
Since Amazon does this with slower e-Ink screens and they do not have to conform to Adobe specs for DRM'd books, they should be able to add these features. I really like my NookColor but am frustrated that for books with art/history illustrations, I can't zoom in nor view anything in Landscape mode on the smaller screens (even a 7" one is small, alongside a 10" tablet, though nicely portable).
But Amazon offers so many more features in its e-Ink models than competing models (except touch screen, for now), I would think they'd include more features in their tablet reading too.
Reminder: With tablets speculation, we're talking about LCD models here, and not the e-Ink devices that are so good for reading outdoors.
Photo credit: digimind.nl
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