Home Will Amazon Be Ready to Ship Tablets in Q3?

Will Amazon Be Ready to Ship Tablets in Q3?

The tablet component orders for the third quarter are in. No surprise, Apple is still miles ahead with orders between 14 and 15 million iPads on the way.

What is surprising is that Amazon has finally made a real, physical blip on tablet radar. According to DigiTimes, Amazon has ordered up to 1.2 million touch panels, a major component of tablets. Considering that the giant online retailer has not made an announcement nor verified rumors that it is releasing either smartphones or tablets, this is the first concrete piece of news that we have that Amazon branded devices outside the Kindle are on the way. Is Amazon showing too much confidence in its tablet strategy with its initial order?

All Amazon has ever really said about a future launch of a tablet was when CEO Jeff Bezos told Consumer Reports to “stay tuned.” That is not a denial nor tacit approval, but it does hint that Amazon tablets are on the way.

Amazon has been busy hiring Android developers, ostensibly to build Android application for various Amazon services such as the Kindle e-reader, an Amazon music player and Amazon Instant Video. Yet, just because Amazon has been hiring as many Android developers the company can get its hands on, that does not mean that a full capacitive touch tablet is on the way.

Analyst firm BMO Capital Markets released its predictions for the entire tablet vertical in early June and believed that Amazon would sell 3.5 million tablets this year. That is a pretty aggressive prediction from BMO for a tablet that will be ready by September at the earliest and thus has four months to sell (granted, in the back-to-school and holiday season).

If DigiTimes’ sources are correct, then 1.2 million tablets (with a high end of 2 million) would put Amazon in the general range of selling between 2.5 million and 4 million tablets this year.

Amazon has the market traction to make this happen. The only company expected to sell more tablets than Amazon (other than Apple, of course) is Samsung, according to BMO. Samsung has a large head start on everybody else in the field not based in Cupertino and will soon have three different tablet sizes on the market.

Amazon now has its fingers in a lot of pies. It does personal and corporate cloud services, Web services (tied in with cloud), music, video, books, publishing, online retail of digital and physical goods, and was the creator of the original popular e-reader with the Kindle. After a couple of hiccups, most of the endeavors have proved successful.

That is why, when competitors are trimming their tablet orders, Amazon is ramping up. There is always the chance that Amazon joins the non-Apple ranks and takes a nosedive. Yet, does anyone think that is going to happen? With the company’s knack for success, who is to say that an Amazon tablet won’t take off as well?

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