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

Summary: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.


Topics: Tablets, Amazon, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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