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Amazon's Kindle Tablet: Aimed at iPad or Nook Color?

Amazon's Kindle Tablet is about defense as much as it is targeting Apple's iPad. The reality is that Barnes & Noble's Nook is one popular Android tablet.

Amazon is expected to launch its Kindle Tablet this week in New York and it's a bit fuzzy whether the device is about targeting Apple's iPad or defending against Barnes & Noble's Nook.

The strategic positioning probably lies somewhere in the middle.

As for the offensive part of the Kindle Tablet launch, the moving parts go like this:

  • Amazon can subsidize a tablet via its Prime subscription service and media sales.
  • Movie, music and e-book services can be bundled into one comprehensive offering.
  • Amazon is one of the few companies that can provide integration similar to what Apple offers.

But Amazon's Kindle Tablet is also about defense. The reality is that Barnes & Noble's Nook is one popular Android tablet. While other companies have tried to launch direct iPad rivals, Barnes & Noble went the hybrid route. The color Nook is a handy Android tablet/e-reader.

Also: Barnes & Noble beefs up Nook Color's tablet status with more apps

Amazon has to answer that tablet/e-reader bell.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Schick said in a research note that the Kindle Tablet is a chance to "return serve with refreshed devices." It's unclear whether Barnes & Noble can ultimately compete with Apple and Amazon, but it has fared well with its Nook color. The biggest threat to Barnes & Noble will come if Amazon aggressively subsidizes its Kindle Tablet to hit the sub-$200 mark.

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