Mar 08 AT 1:53 PM Edgar Cervantes 35 Comments

Amazon to launch 7″ and 10″ tablets during 2nd half of 2012, but will it be too late?

Amazon tablets

Amazon changed the tablet market with its Kindle Fire. Around 5-6 million units were sold just during the 4th quarter of 2011, quickly propelling Amazon to the #2 spot in tablet sales, behind Apple’s iPad. According to recent rumors, Amazon plans to continue its success by adding at least two more devices to its line-up. One would be a 7-inch follow-up to the Fire, while the other one would have a 10-inch form-factor.

Despite the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos used to have a strong opinion about not needing a tablet, Amazon’s foray into tablets has been nothing short of extremely successful as Amazon sees demand drop for its e-ink products.

We have also been hearing of a possible 8.9″ device, though according to the sources this was replaced by the upcoming 10-inch version. Sales are doing great, and Amazon is expecting many users to follow the lead. But, will they?

The Kindle Fire’s success was mainly due to its revolutionary price, as the tablet itself doesn’t quite meet our expectations. A $200 tablet was simply outrageous in the time of its release. We are now hearing about a possible Asus Nexus tablet going for $200, and the ASUS MeMo 370T going for $250. Both mentioned tablets have a Tegra 3 processor, along with a full Android 4.0 OS instead of Kindle’s customary UI.

Unless the user genuinely prefers the Amazon UI, why would anyone pick a Kindle Fire over a Tegra 3 tablet at a similar price? Granted, we know nothing about the upcoming Amazon tablets and even less about their prices, but Amazon really needs to throw a curve ball in order to compete with upcoming affordable Tegra 3 products. Amazon is known for selling hardware at a loss in order to get software and media purchases down the road, but how much lower can they go?

With the Kindle Fire, Amazon has hooked people into both its hardware and its ecosystem. Mainstream consumers don’t really know their Kindle Fire runs Android, and will likely go with the same look and feel device when it comes time to upgrade. This is regardless of what similarly-priced alternatives are out there at the time.

Regardless, we will have to wait and see what happens over the course of the year. In the meantime, a little speculation couldn’t hurt. Do you guys plan on getting one of the upcoming Tegra 3 tablets, or would you rather get an upcoming Amazon tablet? Does price influence your decision? Sound off in the comments.

Source: DigiTimes

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • teecruz

    Too late? Honestly, no.
    If they get the specs right .. I would probably buy one.
    Samsung doesn’t seem to want to face Apple .. might as well Tablet champs ASUS or Amazon take them on. so be it.

    :)

    • spazby

      agreed. they need to put out a “premium” version of subsidized tablet and make money on content…

    • ion orov

      Problem is, their stuff will only really be useful in the states.

      Its not too late in the US. But by the time they release elsewhere (and _if_ they even want to), it will be too late.

      The MeMo and Nexus tablets need to come out very soon… or Android will be pushed aside when Win8 arrives.

  • gpmillerjax

    Great article. I picked up a Kindle Fire for XMAS and returned it before the deadline for a full refund (actually made $7 dollars to test a kindle fire for a month due to a customer service error). The reason being, I heard about the Asus $250 quad core tablet some time in mid January. I agree with you Edgar, unless someone is infatuated with Amazon’s UI, then there is no reason to go that route over the beefier hardware tablets. Who knows, maybe Amazon has some serious tricks up their sleeves.

    • LukeT32

      Yeah the memo should be amazing! I think I am going to make the jump got a tablet when this thing comes out.

  • boro09

    Looking forward to a $200 Nexus Tab, and would never buy a Fire although I love shopping on Amazon

    • thekaz

      I used to think I would buy a Fire, but now with the talk of a Nexus Tab…

  • Eatmode

    The only curveball they could throw is offering free Prime membership for all Kindle Tablet owners.

    • kinderdm

      This would make me much happier with my fire purchase though if they ever did Im sure it would only be new users. All things being equal though I agree that a full androind experience would be prefered, especially if it came with full hardware such as gps and bluetooth.

  • txbluesman

    Not for me. My 8 year old can still enjoy her Kindle Fire, while Daddy plays with his Nexus or MeMo. I don’t need any kid toys when the grown up toys are coming out.

  • kinderdm

    This would make me much happier with my fire purchase though if they ever did I’m sure it would only be new users. All things being equal though I agree that a full android experience would be preferred, especially if it came with full hardware such as gps and bluetooth.

  • aranea

    i would consider a 10inch tablet from Amazon if it has comparable specs. Though I’m not a fan of the custom UI the kindle ecosystem seems to be OK. I would have bought fire if I didn’t think 7 inch is too small for me. Of course we also have to see what Google will do with the Play ecosystem.

  • Trinhbo

    I would prefer a pure Android device such as the Asus Nexus Tablet or MeMo over the Amazon overlay but at this point, I don’t understand business-wise how the Asus branded products can compete on price. Sure they can try to sell it at $200 or $250 but what hardware concessions will have to be made? No GPS? No microphone? No cameras?

    The benefit of the Amazon offering is they can afford to take a loss on hardware and make it up on app and content sales afterward similar to Apple’s business model. If Amazon’s tablets have a built-in mic and front face camera, it would be more appealing because then you can make VoIP calls and video conference.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Agree 100%. As far as I know, Google is not sharing revenue with hardware makers, so there’s no way an OEM can make up their loss from future app/content sales.

      In fact, I think Amazon can absorb even higher initial loss than Apple — because they sell not just electronic content but all kinds of physical goods that Apple doesn’t sell.

    • ion orov

      Maybe Google can offer a cut from all Market purchases. IDK but they need to do something.

      No GPS? Maybe a problem for those who want a large driving aid.
      No mic? Problem for those who want to vid-chat
      No Camera? The back camera can go away but not the front one for vid-chatting.

      This is what worries me. They have to cut some real corners in order to get at that price-point and that may end up killing the device in the end.

  • inviolable

    5-6 million units is second place behind Apple? lol The iPad has a strangle hold on the market, let alone people’s brains. Do android tablets sell at all?

    • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

      That’s pretty good considering that Apple just announced they’ve sold a total of 51million iPads altogether. Keep in mind the kindle fire has only been out for like 3(?) months. I think they’re doing quite good.

      • txbluesman

        Just goes to show that there was a niche for the Kindle Fire.

  • Paulisnofun

    The thing that Amazon has going for them is that they will advertise the hell out of the new Kindle. Asus and Google will not put out the amount of commercials that Amazon will.

    • thekaz

      I agree. Google needs to market their stuff better. Say what you want about iPad specs, I can see why their commercials make the iPad seem very appealing to the masses… I would love to see Google make their tablet look cool to not just geeks and young adults, but the families, kids, grandparents, companies…

      Now, if I knew how exactly to do that, I’d start my own advertising firm :)

      • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

        The Android manufacturers must increase the quality, and quantity of their advertisements. Easch day on the way downtown, see at least a dozen iPad ads ranging from end panels in bus kiosks to building width billboards. Zero for anything Android based. When I get home, see multiple iPad ads on network prime time TV vs. the rare Android tablet TV spot.

        Google / manufactures must do work on getting mindshare. Yesterday on the 12 noon TV nesw, they announced that Apple would be introducing a new iPad with more details on the 5pm news. On the bus downtown listening to the radio yesterday, the top of the hour newsbreak included mentioning the new iPad announcement along eith an audio clip from the keynote.

        • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

          sorry, must have hit submit button before finishing / correcting typos. Need edit / delete ability in comments.

  • Numbertwo

    Honestly i would get one just for the fact that i have a prime account, why not just get both if they will be priced around $200-$250 both combined is still cheaper than an ipad

  • VASRA

    Everybody’s already pricing their tablets very low.

    What could Amazon really differentiate with?

    A *really* non-reflective screen for *reading* even in *daylight*.

    Battery life that lasts, lasts and lasts.

    If they deliver another me-too 1280×800 Android tablet @ 99-199USD, then who cares.

  • drop

    i will never buy a Tegra3 tablet, even Asus will soon switch to Qualcomm for its HD-ready tablet.

    If amazon’s tablet is announced in H2-2012, it should integrate a Cortex15-based CPU, like TI OMAP5. When downclocked to 800mhz, OMAP5 still kicks nVidia asses!

  • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

    The Android manufacturers must increase the quality, and quantity of their advertisements. Each day on the way downtown, see at least a dozen iPad ads ranging from end panels in bus kiosks to building width billboards. Zero for anything Android based. When I get home, see multiple iPad ads on network prime time TV vs. the rare Android tablet TV spot.

    Google / manufacturers must prioritize getting mindshare. Yesterday on the 12 noon TV news they announced that Apple would be introducing a new iPad in an hour with more details on the 5pm news. On the bus downtown listening to the radio yesterday, the top of the hour newsbreak included mentioning the new iPad introduction along with an audio clip from the keynote. On the same bus today, the 3pm newsbreak had an even longer blurb about the new iPad along with a different, longer audio keynote clip. Don’t recall hearing anything about any new Android device ever. We just completed Mobile World Congress with many new devices announced, no mentions in the mainstream press, at least that I saw / heard.

  • Scott

    I hear a lot of talk of quality sub $200 tablets but yet to see one. As such the KF is still the best of the lot for the price point. I’ve had mine since Christmas and though I’d prefer a true Android experience, the KF meets my needs for a tablet…EASY access to media and Web content.

    My favorite feature, EASY access to Amazon prime videos is reason enough for me to stick with the KF product line.

    As long as Amazon continues to deliver an easy and affordable tablet, they will be fine.

  • honourbound68

    The biggest advantages amazon has is prime video. With Netflix losing starz, maybe the time is ripe for an exclusive alliance.

  • skugern

    Price and specs don’t mean much unless they show some improvement with the Silk browser (or just put the new Chrome browser in them :)

  • skugern

    Price and specs on new these supposed tablets don’t mean much unless they show some improvement with the Silk browser (or just put the new Chrome browser in them :)

  • Ron

    I own a Fire and an iPad 2 and I find that I use the Fire more than the iPad. The reason is simple – content integration (heavy user of Kindle books and Amazon video streaming) – until other Android manufacturers get proper integration to rival Amazon – I honestly could care less about the specs. My iPad is a better machine than my Fire – but the content integration in Amazon’s tablet is better for my needs – so I use it more.

    The only thing that might change that is the stylus issue – the biggest problem of tablets is precise input control – which limits them to content consumption instead of content creation machines – and Samsung seems to notice that with the S-Pen – but with Amazon’s recent input patents – it seems that Amazon does as well..

  • CTown

    I understand that not many people know that the Kindle Fire doesn’t run Android but why won’t a competeor do it? They could just describe they can have Amazon MP3 (w/ the online storage), Kindle, Prime Video on their own tablet.

  • Jay

    The kindle fire is really hot, especially after being rooted and flashed with Android. Totally worth the money, and I have full android experience.

  • gadgetgirl

    I have the kf and I hate it. The user experience is awful. I bought an HTC EVO view and love it.since you can put the apks for amazon instant video and the other fire apps on a gingerbread device, the fire is no longer necessary. Amazon keeps talking about how many fires they sold, but I want to know how many were returned. Amazon’s trade in store isn’t accepting fires, yet every other kindle, nook, e-reader, and tablet can be traded. On the fire product page, you can now buy a refurb fire for $20 less than the new one. What does that tell you? Normally, amazon has refurbs on a separate page, but clearly they don’t want their refurbs missed as they must have a lot of returned fires.

  • masterpfa

    The Amazon Experience is not one that can be currently experienced to it’s fullest outside of the US and for that reason “I’m out”

    I wanted to get the Fire as it’s price point and content suited my needs for a tablet, but Amazon Prime “The Golden Egg” is not available in the UK which means I would be tied to a limited Tablet with limited accessibility or a very good e-reader.

    Regardless of the price of any upcoming tablets from Amazon I will not be subscribing to this eco-system, with limited access to the Amazon market for me.The sound of a Asus Tegra 3 for $250 (I would have to import one) or a Google Nexus Tablet I find more appealing.

  1. Too late? Honestly, no.
    If they get the specs right .. I would probably buy one.
    Samsung doesn’t seem to want to face Apple .. might as well Tablet champs ASUS or Amazon take them on. so be it.

    :)

    • agreed. they need to put out a “premium” version of subsidized tablet and make money on content…

    • ion orovGuest 3 years ago

      Problem is, their stuff will only really be useful in the states.

      Its not too late in the US. But by the time they release elsewhere (and _if_ they even want to), it will be too late.

      The MeMo and Nexus tablets need to come out very soon… or Android will be pushed aside when Win8 arrives.

  2. Great article. I picked up a Kindle Fire for XMAS and returned it before the deadline for a full refund (actually made $7 dollars to test a kindle fire for a month due to a customer service error). The reason being, I heard about the Asus $250 quad core tablet some time in mid January. I agree with you Edgar, unless someone is infatuated with Amazon’s UI, then there is no reason to go that route over the beefier hardware tablets. Who knows, maybe Amazon has some serious tricks up their sleeves.

    • Yeah the memo should be amazing! I think I am going to make the jump got a tablet when this thing comes out.

  3. Looking forward to a $200 Nexus Tab, and would never buy a Fire although I love shopping on Amazon

    • I used to think I would buy a Fire, but now with the talk of a Nexus Tab…

  4. EatmodeGuest 3 years ago

    The only curveball they could throw is offering free Prime membership for all Kindle Tablet owners.

    • This would make me much happier with my fire purchase though if they ever did Im sure it would only be new users. All things being equal though I agree that a full androind experience would be prefered, especially if it came with full hardware such as gps and bluetooth.

  5. Not for me. My 8 year old can still enjoy her Kindle Fire, while Daddy plays with his Nexus or MeMo. I don’t need any kid toys when the grown up toys are coming out.

  6. This would make me much happier with my fire purchase though if they ever did I’m sure it would only be new users. All things being equal though I agree that a full android experience would be preferred, especially if it came with full hardware such as gps and bluetooth.

  7. i would consider a 10inch tablet from Amazon if it has comparable specs. Though I’m not a fan of the custom UI the kindle ecosystem seems to be OK. I would have bought fire if I didn’t think 7 inch is too small for me. Of course we also have to see what Google will do with the Play ecosystem.

  8. I would prefer a pure Android device such as the Asus Nexus Tablet or MeMo over the Amazon overlay but at this point, I don’t understand business-wise how the Asus branded products can compete on price. Sure they can try to sell it at $200 or $250 but what hardware concessions will have to be made? No GPS? No microphone? No cameras?

    The benefit of the Amazon offering is they can afford to take a loss on hardware and make it up on app and content sales afterward similar to Apple’s business model. If Amazon’s tablets have a built-in mic and front face camera, it would be more appealing because then you can make VoIP calls and video conference.

    • Agree 100%. As far as I know, Google is not sharing revenue with hardware makers, so there’s no way an OEM can make up their loss from future app/content sales.

      In fact, I think Amazon can absorb even higher initial loss than Apple — because they sell not just electronic content but all kinds of physical goods that Apple doesn’t sell.

    • ion orovGuest 3 years ago

      Maybe Google can offer a cut from all Market purchases. IDK but they need to do something.

      No GPS? Maybe a problem for those who want a large driving aid.
      No mic? Problem for those who want to vid-chat
      No Camera? The back camera can go away but not the front one for vid-chatting.

      This is what worries me. They have to cut some real corners in order to get at that price-point and that may end up killing the device in the end.

  9. 5-6 million units is second place behind Apple? lol The iPad has a strangle hold on the market, let alone people’s brains. Do android tablets sell at all?

    • That’s pretty good considering that Apple just announced they’ve sold a total of 51million iPads altogether. Keep in mind the kindle fire has only been out for like 3(?) months. I think they’re doing quite good.

  10. PaulisnofunGuest 3 years ago

    The thing that Amazon has going for them is that they will advertise the hell out of the new Kindle. Asus and Google will not put out the amount of commercials that Amazon will.

    • I agree. Google needs to market their stuff better. Say what you want about iPad specs, I can see why their commercials make the iPad seem very appealing to the masses… I would love to see Google make their tablet look cool to not just geeks and young adults, but the families, kids, grandparents, companies…

      Now, if I knew how exactly to do that, I’d start my own advertising firm :)

      • The Android manufacturers must increase the quality, and quantity of their advertisements. Easch day on the way downtown, see at least a dozen iPad ads ranging from end panels in bus kiosks to building width billboards. Zero for anything Android based. When I get home, see multiple iPad ads on network prime time TV vs. the rare Android tablet TV spot.

        Google / manufactures must do work on getting mindshare. Yesterday on the 12 noon TV nesw, they announced that Apple would be introducing a new iPad with more details on the 5pm news. On the bus downtown listening to the radio yesterday, the top of the hour newsbreak included mentioning the new iPad announcement along eith an audio clip from the keynote.

        • sorry, must have hit submit button before finishing / correcting typos. Need edit / delete ability in comments.

  11. Honestly i would get one just for the fact that i have a prime account, why not just get both if they will be priced around $200-$250 both combined is still cheaper than an ipad

  12. VASRAGuest 3 years ago

    Everybody’s already pricing their tablets very low.

    What could Amazon really differentiate with?

    A *really* non-reflective screen for *reading* even in *daylight*.

    Battery life that lasts, lasts and lasts.

    If they deliver another me-too 1280×800 Android tablet @ 99-199USD, then who cares.

  13. dropGuest 3 years ago

    i will never buy a Tegra3 tablet, even Asus will soon switch to Qualcomm for its HD-ready tablet.

    If amazon’s tablet is announced in H2-2012, it should integrate a Cortex15-based CPU, like TI OMAP5. When downclocked to 800mhz, OMAP5 still kicks nVidia asses!

  14. The Android manufacturers must increase the quality, and quantity of their advertisements. Each day on the way downtown, see at least a dozen iPad ads ranging from end panels in bus kiosks to building width billboards. Zero for anything Android based. When I get home, see multiple iPad ads on network prime time TV vs. the rare Android tablet TV spot.

    Google / manufacturers must prioritize getting mindshare. Yesterday on the 12 noon TV news they announced that Apple would be introducing a new iPad in an hour with more details on the 5pm news. On the bus downtown listening to the radio yesterday, the top of the hour newsbreak included mentioning the new iPad introduction along with an audio clip from the keynote. On the same bus today, the 3pm newsbreak had an even longer blurb about the new iPad along with a different, longer audio keynote clip. Don’t recall hearing anything about any new Android device ever. We just completed Mobile World Congress with many new devices announced, no mentions in the mainstream press, at least that I saw / heard.

  15. ScottGuest 3 years ago

    I hear a lot of talk of quality sub $200 tablets but yet to see one. As such the KF is still the best of the lot for the price point. I’ve had mine since Christmas and though I’d prefer a true Android experience, the KF meets my needs for a tablet…EASY access to media and Web content.

    My favorite feature, EASY access to Amazon prime videos is reason enough for me to stick with the KF product line.

    As long as Amazon continues to deliver an easy and affordable tablet, they will be fine.

  16. The biggest advantages amazon has is prime video. With Netflix losing starz, maybe the time is ripe for an exclusive alliance.

  17. Price and specs don’t mean much unless they show some improvement with the Silk browser (or just put the new Chrome browser in them :)

  18. Price and specs on new these supposed tablets don’t mean much unless they show some improvement with the Silk browser (or just put the new Chrome browser in them :)

  19. RonGuest 3 years ago

    I own a Fire and an iPad 2 and I find that I use the Fire more than the iPad. The reason is simple – content integration (heavy user of Kindle books and Amazon video streaming) – until other Android manufacturers get proper integration to rival Amazon – I honestly could care less about the specs. My iPad is a better machine than my Fire – but the content integration in Amazon’s tablet is better for my needs – so I use it more.

    The only thing that might change that is the stylus issue – the biggest problem of tablets is precise input control – which limits them to content consumption instead of content creation machines – and Samsung seems to notice that with the S-Pen – but with Amazon’s recent input patents – it seems that Amazon does as well..

  20. I understand that not many people know that the Kindle Fire doesn’t run Android but why won’t a competeor do it? They could just describe they can have Amazon MP3 (w/ the online storage), Kindle, Prime Video on their own tablet.

  21. JayGuest 3 years ago

    The kindle fire is really hot, especially after being rooted and flashed with Android. Totally worth the money, and I have full android experience.

  22. gadgetgirlGuest 3 years ago

    I have the kf and I hate it. The user experience is awful. I bought an HTC EVO view and love it.since you can put the apks for amazon instant video and the other fire apps on a gingerbread device, the fire is no longer necessary. Amazon keeps talking about how many fires they sold, but I want to know how many were returned. Amazon’s trade in store isn’t accepting fires, yet every other kindle, nook, e-reader, and tablet can be traded. On the fire product page, you can now buy a refurb fire for $20 less than the new one. What does that tell you? Normally, amazon has refurbs on a separate page, but clearly they don’t want their refurbs missed as they must have a lot of returned fires.

  23. The Amazon Experience is not one that can be currently experienced to it’s fullest outside of the US and for that reason “I’m out”

    I wanted to get the Fire as it’s price point and content suited my needs for a tablet, but Amazon Prime “The Golden Egg” is not available in the UK which means I would be tied to a limited Tablet with limited accessibility or a very good e-reader.

    Regardless of the price of any upcoming tablets from Amazon I will not be subscribing to this eco-system, with limited access to the Amazon market for me.The sound of a Asus Tegra 3 for $250 (I would have to import one) or a Google Nexus Tablet I find more appealing.