Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

Summary: Not to be outdone by all the buzz for the newly released Blackberry Playbook or iPad 2, it seems Amazon is also joining the color tablet PC fray.

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Not to be outdone by all the buzz for the newly released Blackberry Playbook or iPad 2, it seems Amazon is also joining the color tablet PC fray.

Quanta Computer, the Taiwanese tablet PC manufacturer of the Playbook and Sony S1 & S2, along with E Ink Holdings, have received orders from Amazon to develop a color LCD touchscreen device featuring "Fringe Field Switching technology". Apparently, FFS LCD screens offer a wider viewing angle, more realistic colors and better outdoor viewing than regular LCD displays. Though no prices have been released yet, this contract is expected to bring in "$3.5 billion" for Quanta by the end of 2011, with "monthly orders during the peak season ... expected to reach about 700,000-800,000 units and Quanta is expected to start shipping as soon as the second half of 2011," according to DigiTimes-just in time for the holiday shopping season.

So what will be the fate of the Kindle, Amazon's flagship e-book reader? Sources at DigiTimes suggest the Kindle's days may be numbered due to its inability to appeal to consumers beyond North America and Europe, which only further legitimizes that an Amazon-brand iPad competitor is really on its way:

"[While] Amazon's Kindle still has strong sales, but the e-book reader is currently still unable to successfully cut into the markets outside of North America and Europe; therefore, Amazon internally plans to reduce Kindle's market price to attract consumer demand from the education and consumer market, while will push tablet PC using its advantage in software and content resources to challenge iPad2."

Is this why Target is selling the Kindle for a mere $114 this week? Does Amazon have a chance against Apple?

[Image from EcoGadgets.com]

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

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43 comments
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  • Well, I remember being....

    poo-pooed here when I suggested the limited function nature of the Kindle would doom it sooner rather than later.

    Do any of those individuals care to step forward?
    Economister
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      looking forward for any user reviews

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      phil.hartman79
  • Hey, cheaper than that Bang & Olafson TV

    I'm sorry, Dave, that does not compute. $3.5 billion for 750,000 units is $4,600 per unit. It isn't <i>million</i> either: that would be $4.60/unit.

    We need better spies, and better math.

    Nothing I read here suggests that this is anything more than a color e-book reader that can deal with non-Latin character sets (which is apparently a limitation of the Kindle).
    Robert Hahn
    • Agree

      @Robert Hahn The numbers make absolutely no sense. <br><br>Also, it is very well known that eInk SUCKS for playing animation .... which means it would suck as a display for a tablet.
      wackoae
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      @Robert Hahn <br><br>At least one other article I read elsewhere on this said 700,000 to 800,000 PER MONTH.<br><br>If you assume that the $3.5bn quoted is USA$ (and not HK$ as assumed by blackbeagle2, below), then 750,000 for 12 months would be 9 million units at $388 each. How does that sound in terms of materials and production cost?<br><br>And to the authors, I really cannot tell you how much I dislike reading articles that refer to "iPad-kill"! It is, at best, banal journalism . . . and you are both much better than that.
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      @Robert Be interesting to see how this little baby kits the ipad sales. Im guessing only a small % nothing major. Afterall ipad carries a "trendy" factor that people love to be a part of
      <a href="http://snapne.org">snap</a>
      itbabyx
  • Try it using Hong Kong Dollars

    3.5B Hong Kong Dollars / 700,000 = ~$650 USD/Unit. Ouch!

    3.5B HKD/800,000 = ~$560 USD/unit.
    Still painful, but getting more into the ballpark.
    Blackbeagle2
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      @Blackbeagle2 Are you accounting for markup? That always pushes the price up considerably.

      I keep telling people that the xoom isn't going to compete with the iPad in sales yet because it's the same tablet for a much higher entry price. So far, nobody can match apple in terms of value -- that is, what you get for what you pay... And it's mostly because they control manufacturing and design from start to finish more than anyone else, which drives their unit price down, while still allowing them to turn a profit.
      nickswift498
      • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

        @nickswift498 - i keep telling people the reason why other tablets (and certain smartphones) fail is that the quality and quantity of apps is several orders of magnitude behind apple. and making tablets or book readers more pc like is a mistake; the ipad does not follow the desktop metaphor

        http://mickyd.wordpress.com
        mickyduncan
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      @Blackbeagle2
      I think it is more like:
      3.5B NTD(New Taiwan Dollar)/750,000 = ~$155 USD/Unit.
      hhlee@...
  • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

    I'd be cautious about calling anything an iPad killer before the numbers are in, or before thee device has even been shown or formally announced. I know you guys want a good, successful non-apple tablet really badly, but come on.
    nickswift498
  • Kiss of Death

    Calling anything an iDevice Killer ensures said device will disappear without a trace v
    His_Shadow
    • EXACTLY!!!!

      @His_Shadow Calling it an "iPad killer" will most likely guarantee it won't even be a contender.

      Best examples: Xoom and Galaxy
      wackoae
    • agreed!

      @His_Shadow here! here!

      http://mickyd.wordpress.com
      mickyduncan
  • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

    Thanks for pointing out the math as written doesn't really add up. I updated the post to specify that according to DigiTimes, Quanta Computer is projected to make $3.5 billion this year (including this contract from Amazon) and that about 700-800k units will be shipped per month at the peak, starting the second half of this year. All numbers from DigiTimes' sources.

    You have to admit Amazon has the content/service that people would want, no matter the technical specs of the device. That, in itself poses a legit threat to Apple.

    GS
    Gloria Sin
    • Fear the Bezos

      I agree: if I were Steve Jobs, I would fear Amazon as I fear no one else when it comes to being a thorn in the side of iPad. All the other guys seem to think that they're selling hardware gizmos; if they only beat my feeds and speeds they'll clean my clock.

      Some of them pay lip service to having an "App Store," but mostly as window dressing to say they have one.

      Amazon is for real. They have music, they have videos, and they have 20 million active credit card accounts. If they succeed in pushing Google's Android app store off the stage (which Google deserves), Amazon will be the ecosystem equal of Apple... something that does not now exist.
      Robert Hahn
      • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

        @Robert Hahn - i agree about amazons being superior in only one way - ebooks.

        true amazon has music and videos but i think you find the itunes store has that and more. im not going to speculate on number of credit card users which may or may not be relevant.

        http://mickyd.wordpress.com
        mickyduncan
  • What a load of cobblers...

    The iPad has been killed how many times exactly? Thirty times? More lives than a cat I would say...

    The iPad is on its' second derivation, while most tablets are still to see the light of day.

    I know you want to see an iPad demise, but to say that this is bordering on the ridiculous is putting it mildly!
    grillomalta
  • Not about the hardware

    Everyone that comes out with an IPAD-killer is forgetting the one thing that made the IPAD in the first place - the ease of getting software. Remember all the IPOD killers that were coming out?
    jimrice@...
    • RE: Amazon's iPad killer in stores by Christmas 2011?

      @jimrice@... And everything that came out was better than the iPod, hence the iPod was killed.
      jgm@...