The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

Summary: The prediction that Amazon is working on a tablet has set off a round of buzzing. Make no mistake: Amazon doesn't want to sell you a tablet, they want the tablet to sell you lots of other stuff.

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Peter Rojas of gdgt stirred up a flurry of commentary with his prediction that Amazon is working on a tablet with Samsung. He sees the Amazon media ecosystem (audio, video, ebooks) as a reasonable jumping off point for the retailer to hit the market with its own branded Android tablet. The tech world has jumped on Peter's prediction with gusto, and many are questioning whether such a move would end up jeopardizing Amazon's relationships with partners in the Android space. Frankly, I don't think Amazon cares as this tablet is all about extending the company's retail operation, and not about taking over the Android tablet market.

First up, I agree with Peter that a tablet from Amazon is inevitable. I've written about this before and colleague Jason Perlow has too. The company has been carefully building up a retail ecosystem on the Android platform, and the recent opening of the Amazon Appstore was the final piece of the pre-tablet puzzle. The system is so well fleshed out that Amazon would be remiss in not producing its own tablet.

A lot of the reaction to Peter's article deals with the notion that Amazon would upset its OEM partners in the Android space if it released a competing tablet. That makes sense to a degree, but I don't think that would be a factor. I don't see Amazon's tablet as a product going after the Android tablet market at all. I believe it would be intended to extend the company's retail operation into the next logical space. I firmly believe that Amazon's intent would not be to produce a state-of-the-art mobile device that will set other tablet makers back on its heels. Its tablet would rather be designed to have the Amazon retail system completely ingrained into a decent, economical tablet. Think of it as an extension of the Kindle ereader.

It will be a full Android tablet, don't misunderstand me, but its primary purpose will be to sell you Amazon products, and then provide a nice mobile method to consume those products. A Kindle on steroids, if you will. It won't be designed to just sell you digital products for the tablet, oh no. Amazon will integrate it into the entire retail operation, which will make it possible to sell the tablet for a ridiculously low price.

I envision constant promotions aimed at Amazon tablet owners. Free shipping for any product bought from the tablet or big discounts for similar purchases. Amazon is a master at playing the retail game, and this will fit perfectly into that. Amazon doesn't want to sell you a tablet, they want the tablet to sell you lots of other stuff.

Topics: Tablets, Amazon, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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37 comments
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  • Is Amazon about Selling Generic Junk as Amazon Branded Products?

    From your characterization, I hear you saying that Amazon's tablet would not be much to speak off. I don't think that's been what Amazon has sought to stand for. They have intentionally built an eReading device that they are confident has the best reading experience you can get. People may argue whether it does, but they're using eInk for a reason, and they're staying with black and white (at least for now) on purpose, because they don't feel that color is economical or measures up yet. So, if they're going to build a tablet, I would not count on it being just 'decent.'
    WebSiteManager
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @WebSiteManager I didn't say that. I merely pointed out that a whiz-bang competitive tablet is not the primary objective. I too think Amazon will bring a decent product to market.
      JamesKendrick
  • What other major tablet manufacturer has the same goal?

    Apple! Google's Android fits nicely within their business model, but Android OS is not the cash machine that iPad, iPhone and iPod are - when you purchase through the typical Android device Google does not benefit. On the other hand, everything that passes through mobile iOS devices makes Apple money, placing them in the same category. Your statement above could as easily read "Apple doesn?t want to sell you a tablet, they want the tablet to sell you lots of other stuff."

    Kudos to Amazon, I'm sure it will be a success, and good on them for taking a good look at Apple (as I'm sure they did) in developing a business model and justification for creating a branded tablet.
    jcunwired
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @jcunwired I don't see Amazon's intent to be the same as Apple's. Amazon can use the tablet to sell you every single thing they sell, not just tech stuff. Far bigger market than Apple's.
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

        @JamesKendrick World domination? (joking, of course) True, the market is huge, but there is one major difference. Amazon doesn't *need* a table to sell you their stuff, its just another device - albeit with more convenient hooks to their marketplace - from which to click "Buy now...". Apple did.

        The differentiator, of course, is that Amazon has no intention of developing a competing product, but purely a convenient one, and this is the beauty of their model. I agree completely with you on this, as well the sentiment that an Amazon tablet will be a good device.
        jcunwired
      • Brilliant on Amazon's part

        @JamesKendrick

        I think it is brilliant on Amazon's part. But consumers don't all agree with me. I am not a Kindle owner (but I have purchased two as gifts). Several Kindle owners I have talked to said they didn't want any kind of ads (even unobtrusive ones), even if it saved them money.

        My opinion, though, is that a highly subsidized marketing-reader-browser tool could really take off. Many, many millions of units.
        Schoolboy Bob
      • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

        @jcunwired
        Think you are wrong....
        If Amazon feels enough to promote Kindle ebook app to continuously improve on the Kindle eReader I find it likely they will have the same vision for Android.
        And Android has the potential to be as or more lucrative then Kindle is.

        :D
        rhonin
  • A distinction without a difference?

    Every company tries to "sell you more stuff". Your dollars then go to their bottom line instead of someone else's. That "someone else" may be a direct competitor or selling burgers, but at the end of the day, you get stronger and they get weaker, IF you succeed at "selling me more stuff". There are only so many dollars to go around in any given economy. If that is not competition, I do not know what is.
    Economister
  • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

    Ditto for Android tablets, by the way!
    Google gets virtually ALL their revenue from selling ads.
    Userama
  • The kindle eReader is a great little device for reading

    I hope they don't ruin it by putting that crappy Android OS in it.

    Amazon should just stick to selling Adroid Apps and not rely on Adroid to increase future revenue since Android is just a fad that is already dying
    iPad-awan
    • Troll much? (nt)

      @iPad-awan

      NT
      Economister
      • It takes one to know one

        @Economister
        and apparently you're the best at spotting one
        iPad-awan
      • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

        @Economister
        He's sensitive about it too.
        hoaxoner
      • Actually, you are wrong, as usual

        @iPad-awan<br><br>You see, bigots do not recognize other bigots. When one bigot runs into another bigot, he does not recognize the bigotry. Instead his fragile little ago is validated and he feels good about himself, totally oblivious to the bigotry.<br><br>Now, I expect that you would have a fair bit of trouble with this entire concept.
        Economister
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @iPad-awan you are crazy. Amazon will keep their readers they way they are. The great thing about an android powered tablet is that it offers so much more content to the users. Android is not a fad, and will not die anytime soon.
      mitigate
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @iPad-awan

      Walking past my Phones4u shop the windows were entirely android apart from one iphone display. On entrance you then hit an enormous Galaxy Tab demo.

      Android is dying ?
      Chipesh
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @iPad-awan
      A. Noid
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @iPad-awan I guess you have been maybe hiding under a rock, when Android just moved UP to 33% of all phones, which surpasses the Iphone by a ways. So if you mean that the fad is dying, I am sure Google can live with that kind of dying.
      A. Noid
  • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

    Whatever amazon does I hope they keep a dedicted black and white ereader. My kindle is one of the best tech devices I have ever owned. It is like a toaster it just does what it is supposed to do, nothing more nothing less.
    jhuddle
    • RE: The Amazon Tablet is to sell you more stuff, not to compete

      @jhuddle I agree with you. The Kindle does what it is supposed to and as advertised. I am always puzzled when I read the blogs as to why people whine about the fact it doesn't have this or doesn't do that. Maybe they will be happy with an Amazon Tablet.
      nbkz81f