That’s my prediction. What’s yours? Every single week there are more unsubstantiated Amazon tablet rumors, so why not add some good old-fashioned speculation to the mix?
If Amazon is indeed going to release an Android tablet in the next month or so, I believe that it will most certainly undercut the price of the Nook Color, which currently sits at a competitive $249 new and $199 refurbished. Amazon always likes pricing their Kindles just below B&N’s prices on the Nook, and I think Amazon’s first tablet will be somewhat akin to a beefed-up Nook Color.
If the rumors are to be believed, Amazon looks like they will be releasing a 9″ tablet first, and then a premium tablet later, perhaps next year. The 9″ tablet is said to be minus a camera, so that’s a very good indication that it will be a trimmed down, cost-effective tablet. Heck, even the new $169 Pandigital Nova has front and rear facing cameras.
Other than the missing camera, I suspect the Amazon tablet will feature some pretty decent specs, like a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, multi-touch capacitive screen, speakers, mini HDMI port (got to have audio and video covered with Amazon’s MP3 and video services), SD card slot, and plenty of other goodies to make people forget about the Nook Color. I also think Amazon will do a lot of promoting for color Kindle content, and perhaps even offer some exclusive new Kindle-related feature for the tablet.
But I don’t think the Amazon tablet will come with official Android Market access. First off, if it doesn’t have a camera, that’s a problem. Secondly, Amazon has their own Android Appstore, and if their only other venture into hardware production (the Kindle) is any indication, Amazon isn’t going to be very likely to allow their competitors onto their tablet to sell the same apps they have and more.
So in the end, people are going to be disappointed about the lack of official Android Market access and cameras, but the overall specs will be good enough and the price of the tablet is going to come in so low that it will be insanely popular nonetheless, and there will most certainly be hacks to get the Android Market onto the device anyway.
That’s how I think the Amazon tablet is going to go down. And I think it is going to be announced later this month and will start shipping in September, along with a new Kindle or two. What do you think?