Oct 11 AT 4:30 PM Taylor Wimberly 13 Comments

It’s obvious, right? Amazon and Best Buy are working on tablets

This past week all the tech blogs were talking about the confirmed Amazon app store and concept Best Buy app store, but many of them failed to mention the real reason behind these alternatives to the Android Market that are popping up. If you read between the lines, I think it’s pretty obvious that both of these retailers are already working on their own Android tablets.

Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement for the Android Market has a non-compete clause which states, “You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.” This means that when Amazon or Best Buy finally releases their app stores, they will have a difficult time getting them on existing devices.

The non-compete clause shouldn’t really matter because I believe the target market for these upcoming app stores will be new products and not existing devices. If a company is going to spend the time and money developing their own app store, then they must have their own devices where they make the rules (and the profit).

TechCrunch was the first to post the rumor that an Amazon tablet was coming and it makes perfect sense when you really think about it. Amazon’s site attracts nearly 80 million visitors each month and they have demonstrated their ability to move a branded device like the Kindle e-reader. If Amazon takes their moneymaking Kindle brand and slaps it on an Android tablet, they now have the perfect mobile platform to push their growing video-on-demand library, while also using their killer recommendation engine to sell apps and games.

Best Buy is another company where it just makes sense to have their own mobile device and the company CTO has tweeted they were working on a tablet. A report from FierceDeveloper states that “Best Buy accounts for close to 20 percent of consumer electronics sales in the U.S.” and they also operate 120 Best Buy Mobile locations across the United States. Now that Best Buy will begin selling 4G service through Clearwire, it is not too hard to imagine the retail giant pushing their own tablet with attached wireless service.

Whatever happens, I’m glad to see more competition for the official Android Market. Maybe it will motivate Google to hurry up and release that online Market we saw demonstrated back at Google I/O this summer.

Do you think Amazon or Best Buy could successfully market their own device and compete with Google’s official tablet offerings? What are your thoughts on the rapidly expanding list of alternative app stores?

Via: FierceDeveloper

Source: WSJ

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

    An Amazon Kindle tablet could be interesting. If it’s low end and aimed at e-reading, I probably won’t care, but if it’s a legitimate competitor along the lines of a wi-fi only Galaxy Tab, I think I would be very interested. I think that an amazon app store has a better chance of success than any other.
    Couldn’t care less about a Best Buy tablet though. I guess the only good thing there is that I would be able to return it locally.

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      I doubt they’d target the low end with this as they so clearly own that market with the Kindle at $139 now.

      If Amazon uses their own store and avoids the Market as it appears they will then they can afford to do high end hardware with a lower price than most of the other manufacturers as they will be recouping any loss on the hardware with video/music/app sales through their store. It’s the advantage that Apple has and is completely squandering with the iPad pricing.

  • http://Website Tito!

    Both will succeed I believe. I’m a fan of both (Kudos? Give mee a free tablet? :b)
    So! Yeah. Both are big companies
    Best Buy influences deeply in eletronic world .
    An amazon, well can you say #1 retailer at everything? So it should work for them too. :)

  • http://Website Chuck

    Don’t agree regarding this part:

    “Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement for the Android Market has a non-compete clause which states, “You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.” This means that when Amazon or Best Buy finally releases their app stores, they will have a difficult time getting them on existing devices.”

    It won’t really be difficult, they just won’t distribute them via the market. But both Amazon and Best Buy have prominent enough brands and well-trafficked enough websites to get a large user base by just sticking a “download Amazon’s/Best Buy’s app store for Android!” banner up and distributing the .apk directly.

    I think you’re right that they’re both developing tablets and that may in large part drive their efforts to build 3rd party markets for Android, but especially in Amazon’s case, it’d also make a lot of sense for them to open them up to Android users in general.

    • http://Website DannyB

      > both Amazon and Best Buy have prominent enough brands
      > and well-trafficked enough websites to get a large user base
      > by just sticking a “download Amazon’s/Best Buy’s app store
      > for Android!” banner up and distributing the .apk directly.

      That strategy doesn’t work for AT&T phones which are crippled not to download apps from anywhere except Google market.

  • http://Website Chancy

    This is a joke, right? Right?

  • http://ericweiss.me Eric Weiss

    Amazon working on a tablet is an instant win.

    Best Buy on the other hand… I have to see it to believe it. This sounds to me like an executive talking about things he thinks he understand (see: Microsoft and Balmer’s constant foot in mouth routine).

    Why would Best Buy get into the hardware game now? They haven’t sold Best Buy branded PCs, TVs, washers, etc. Why would that start with what is really an unproven entity. Doing so would also mean other tablets would be less likely to sell in their stores. It doesn’t make sense considering their business model.

    • http://Website Chuck

      Eric, Insignia is Best Buy’s house brand, they are in fact selling all those things you mentioned under that brand already (alright, not sure about washers, but a bunch of stuff).

      They don’t make it, just contract it out and slap an Insignia label on it.

      • http://ericweiss.me Eric Weiss

        I stand corrected. How did I not know this before?

  • http://Website AceoStar

    Never really thought about it, but it makes sense. As the technology becomes cheaper and cheaper, eventually these companies with huge bank accounts will start producing their own store brands. Next thing we know, we’ll see Wal-mart Great Value tablets and notebooks :p The more competition the better for all of us, as long as they keep the quality high.

  • http://www.androidappreviewsource.com Android App Review Source

    It should be interesting to see how it turns out if Best Buy ends up creating a tablet. Amazon as well.

  • http://Website jimmajam

    Oh, geez, does this mean there’s gonna be a walmart tab, too? I mean, come ON. Now it’s just starting to become RIDICULOUS how many tabs are coming out. Seriously, if fragmentation on Android wasn’t already a problem, now every Tom, Dick and Harry are releasing an Android 2.1 tab, all by different manufacturers, seemingly all with different app markets! Who KNOWS how many of these nobody-tablets are going to be running their own skins?

    Soon enough, you’ll have people whining on android blogs just like this that their $139.99 Walmart/Best Buy/Crate&Barrel tablet STILL hasn’t gotten its Gingerbread update! As for me? I’m going to wait till everybody’s got their 1st generation tablets and see whose is best, but my bets are definitely on the rumored Verizon/HTC/Google tab coming out on Black Friday.

  • http://i-android.info/ Android News

    Amazon working on the pill is definitely an fast get.

    Very best Invest in about the alternative hand… I can see that to trust that. That appears to my opinion just like the exec preaching about things they perceives they fully grasp (see: ‘microsoft’ plus Balmer’s regular feet with mouth area routine).

    Exactly why would certainly Very best Invest in end up in the components video game at this point? These people haven’t available Most effective Acquire imprinted Computers, Television sets, washers, and so forth. The reason why could in which start with that which is really a great unproven company. Doing so would certainly additionally imply alternative medication is less likely selling within their stores. Them doesn’t produce perception taking into account their particular enterprize model.