gdgt, the highly anticipated Amazon Android tablet may be coming from Samsung. Citing only "sources within the industry," Rojas claims he's "99% certain" that Amazon is having Samsung build its tablet computer for them and it's expected to arrive no later than this summer.According to Peter Rojas, former co-founer of Engadget and now co-founder of
He also speculates about the possibility of the tablet running Android 3.0 Honeycomb (or not), as well as what type of content Amazon plans to sell on it. (Hint: more than apps!)
How Credible the Rumor?
Rojas has covered mobile devices and gadgets for a long time, not only at Engadget, which he helped start, but also at Gizmodo. Now his consumer-focused social networking, reviews and support site around gadgets, gdgt, keeps him directly plugged into industry moves and trends.
In other words, this is no small-time blogger with a small-time scoop - it's a rumor whose source is reputable and knowledgable. All that being said, it's still just a rumor.
Amazon Tablet: Honeycomb? Disruptive? Cheap?
According to Rojas' insider info and great big dollop of speculation, the Samsung/Amazon Android tablet should be out sometime soon, probably no later than summer 2011. And, he says, it will likely have something that substantially differentiates it from its competition.
The most recently launched Android tablets, notably Motorola's Xoom and Samsung's Galaxy Tab, have not performed as well as those companies would have liked thus far. This is due to not only the high cost of tablets tied to mobile carrier contracts, but the raw nature of the unpolished version of Google's tablet-optimized mobile operating system (OS), also known as Honeycomb.
With this in mind, it's not surprising to hear Rojas speculate that Amazon's tablet may not run Honeycomb as has been expected, but, like its top competitor, the Barnes & Noble's Nook Color, it may use Android as the base for its tablet. It's also entirely possible that Amazon will build "a totally customized experience that tightly integrates Amazon services," Rojas said. By doing so, Amazon could reduce the initial cost of the tablet because it would serve as a vehicle that drove sales for the online retailer over time.
That idea isn't so different from how gaming console systems are generally subsidized today - the profit comes from selling games, not the console hardware. Similarly, on Amazon, the profit would come from not only the apps sold through Amazon's new Appstore for Android, whose pricing has been the center of controversy as of late, but also music and video, and even physical goods, too.
It's not difficult to connect the dots between Amazon's recent launches - the above-mentioned app store, the new web-baed streaming music and media service called Cloud Drive and the recent changes to Amazon's online video service, Amazon Prime - and figure out that Amazon is up to something. Still, it's good to see it confirmed, even if through anonymous sources like this.
But the biggest question about the forthcoming tablet, and the one that remains unanswered, is the pricing. Rojas says that if Amazon's smart, it will be aggressive here, not only beating the iPad, but matching or besting the Nook's pricing, too. For a truly competitive 7-inch tablet, the price to beat is $250, says Rojas.
$250, you say? Heck, for that price, we'll take two! What about you?