September 3, 2011
Fifteen months after its debut, the iPad’s dominance of the tablet market has never been tested, despite a steady onslaught of would-be competitors. That could soon change with the arrival of the Amazon Tablet. This assessment isn’t ours, but rather that of TechCrunch’s MG Siegler. He made this assessment after testing the device, which is expected to arrive in the U.S. this November. Siegler contends he was given access to the 7-inch colored device under the condition that he could not take any pictures of it. His overall assessment is that “it’s going to be a big deal. Huge, potentially.” Among his findings:
- The device will arrive this November priced at $250, which is the same price Barnes & Noble charges for its Nook Color.
- The first version will be 7-inch, but a 10-inch model will arrive in 2012
- Both versions run Android, which he claims is “nothing like the Android you’re used to seeing."
The interface is all Amazon and Kindle. It’s black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange. The main screen is a carousel that looks like Cover Flow in iTunes, which displays all the content you have on the device. This includes books, apps, movies, etc. Below the main carousel is a dock to pin your favorite items in one easy-to-access place. When you turn the device horizontally, the dock disappears below the fold.Most surprisingly, the Amazon Kindle will not include Google’s Android Marketplace.
Google’s Android Market is nowhere to be found. In fact, no Google app is anywhere to be found. This is Android fully forked. My understanding is that the Kindle OS was built on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2. And Amazon will keep building on top of that of that over time. In other words, this won’t be getting “Honeycomb” or “Ice Cream Sandwich” — or if it does, users will never know it because that will only be the underpinnings of the OS. Any visual changes will be all Amazon. They are not working with Google on this. At all.Finally, Siegler concludes:
That’s all for now. I suspect even more information (and pictures) will start leaking out soon — again, the new Kindle is very close to being done. Not only is the device real, from what I’ve seen, it’s solid. I suspect it will be on many people’s holiday wish-list this year.Siegler’s story is very interesting and should be read in its entirety. Its central premise is Amazon’s tablet is going to be significant and as such, Apple will almost certainly have a true competitor on its hands when the device arrives. This is going to get good, don’t you think? Would you purchase the Amazon Tablet? We’d like to know. Please leave your comments below.