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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall 109

According to the New York Post — among many others — Amazon is expected to launch its long-anticipated color tablet in late September or October, and the device is slated to sell for 'hundreds less' than the iPad, which implies a price of $300 or less. MSNBC says much the same, but adds some (their words) "generic looking mockups" to illustrate. I expect millions of Kindle owners will happily skip the added weight and shorter battery life of a full-fledged tablet, but it's good to have options.
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Amazon's Android Tablet Expected This Fall

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  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:20PM (#37228004) Homepage Journal

    The HP Touchpad may well be selling just because it's something selling at $100 that's perceived to be worth $400. Or it might be selling because people think it'll sell for $250 on eBay. Or many other reasons. Add to that the fact that non-geeks don't seem to be talking about is as geeks are (in my neck of the woods at least), and you can't really rush to judgment based upon the Touchpad alone. That's why the jury is out.

    It's a shame HP didn't hide the "fire sale" part of it, and, say, cut the price in half (eg to $200) for a couple of weeks before announcing its discontinuation. That would have given us a little more information on whether the problem is price or something else.

    I'm not sure why you thought you put a jab at open source in there BTW. I was describing why I wouldn't get one, I never suggested that was a universal sentiment. That said, I'll make two important points here:

    First, as general advice, anyone who tries a completely new platform that carries a severe risk of being completely discontinued without ensuring that a mechanism for third party support exists - ie that the code is open, is making a grave mistake. Take this as someone whose first computers were a Dragon 32, a Sinclair QL, and a Commodore Amiga.

    Second, right now one thing that's holding tablets back is the fact that the "open source" operating systems available for that kind of form factor (essentially, Android 1.x and 2.x) aren't optimized for the system. That's why there's a lot of crap from ViewSonic, Archos, et al. Look at the hardware they sell, and it's not bad at all (at least, the hardware in the $200+ range), but the tablets are hampered by ugly half-assed UIs designed to replace the phone UIs on the versions of Android they're using. That's why Icecream Sandwich is so important, it'll be the first completely open tablet operating system that virtually any manufacturer can pick up and install.

    Whether consumers care isn't the issue here, even though they should What matters here is getting a quality, affordable, usable tablet out there, and in this environment, I think that's going to be very difficult without an free and open operating system with a quality UI.

  • Re:Great! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:41PM (#37228148)

    Have you tried it. I have a tablet... and I NEVER read books on it. I always read the on the Kindle - the screen is just so much better, it's the right size, and I rarely if ever think about the battery. It's like a paper book with pages that magically rewrite themselves.

    I'm sometimes loathe to admit it - but with the Kindle 3 Amazon really got it right. It's the first ereader I've seen that I would consider a replacement for a book - for like, normal, people and not tech-head weirdos like me.

  • Re:What about... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Karlt1 ( 231423 ) on Saturday August 27, 2011 @12:50PM (#37228208)

    Apple insists on a very large profit margin. They can be underpriced by someone with the money to commit to large volume production.

    Yes, Apple does enjoy it's profit margin, but that doesn't mean that anyone else can make an equivalent device cheaper and at a profit, Apple has a number of things going for them that no one else has.

    1 - Buying power. Apple has been the largest consumer of flash memory since around the time that the first Nano came out. Not to mention the buying power from using a lot of the same hardware across multiple devices and selling more than any other single company (iPads+iPhones+iPod Touches and to a lesser extent Macs).

    2. Huge cash reserves -- Apple can invest billions in other companies and buy out all of their capcity for year.

    3. Apple retail stores/online store (not a problem for Amazon obviously). Apple captures the wholesale and the retail markup for many of its products. Besides when you walk into an Apple store there is no competition from other companies -- unlike Best Buy or even Amazon.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.