There is a theme in the news (rumor mill) that I have grown accustomed to laughing at that suggests everybody is out to tackle Apple and best them in the mobile market they have come to dominate. Why is it that the headlines don’t read more like “Amazon Wants to Make More Money Because that is What Companies Generally Strive to Do?”
The answer is simple: the key to selling more units is to convince consumers that they don’t actually want an iPad (or iPhone). Looks like this goal is precisely what Amazon is going to try and achieve.
With the goal of getting their already considerable customer base to keep buying Amazon’s products (digital now instead of physical goods), the company is expected to release a series of tablets (in several sizes, including a 10-inch model).
There is no question that Amazon has seen success with their Kindle line-up, with the underachiever actually being the Kindle Fire. While initial interest and purchases were quite good, interest in the tablets has seemingly dropped off. Some hypothesize this decline is due to the smaller form factor but I would counter by saying it is due to the customized (and somewhat limited) version of Android the units are running on.
Will all these rumors from Amazon’s direction inspire Apple to make a move to an iPad Mini? Hardly. If Apple is releasing a smaller version of their tablet, it will be because it makes good sense for the company and it will have been in development for longer than these rumors have had life.
The company that should be concerned about the news that Amazon is due to release more tablets (and maybe even a smartphone) is Google. Consumers seem much more likely to buy a tablet from the retailer they will purchase from going forward because the perception (true or not) is that the compatibility and ease of use will be that much more significant.