With the recent news that Amazon has ordered over 800,000 touch-screen tablet devices from Quanta, a Taiwan-based company, everybody is starting to wonder what it may look like and whether it may become the first real competition for the iPad.
Virtually every detail about Amazon’s new device is currently based on speculation, like claims that it will take advantage of Google’s Android operating system. The primary expectation is that it will take advantage of Amazon’s app store, which levels the playing field somewhat against Apple.
This is something no other rival can claim. It would also make sense that this device be integrated with CloudDrive, which offers online file storage much like Apple’s MobileMe.
So many people are already referring to this as the Anti-Pad or the latest iPad threat. While I doubt Apple is trembling just yet, there is one place Amazon has excelled to date that may just cause a shiver: a electronic paper display that lessens eye strain when used for long periods of time. If Amazon can translate this technology into their color screens, combined with the ability to be easily viewed in direct sunlight, that may be all the encouragement many users need to choose their product over an iPad. However, it’s easier said than done.
It isn’t clear whether the introduction of this new tablet will eliminate the existing Kindle e-reader devices offered by Amazon, especially in light of how well they have performed as the most popular device of its kind. What is clear, is that Amazon will be using their brand recognition and already loyal customer base to drive sales.
Quanta already manufactures the RIM Playbook and is rumored to be producing a similar device for Sony. Whatever they look like, it is expected that we will have our first look at these new devices in the second half of 2011.