Amazon tablet tipped to challenge iPad
Rumors that Amazon is working on a tablet have been all but confirmed, and the device is shaping up to be a serious contender to the iPad.
TechCrunch last week reported it has seen and used a prototype of the Kindle tablet, which has a seven-inch screen and runs on a heavily modified version of Android.
In an approach reminiscent of Baidu's new Android fork OS, all the native Google apps have been replaced with Amazon versions. The device is also integrated with Amazon web stores, and there is no link to the Android Market.
The integration with Amazon's wide range of available content could make the Kindle tablet an attractive proposition for consumers, but it is the price that could really tip the scales. With a reported recommended retail price of $250 (€176), it is half the price of the entry-level iPad.
Included in the price, in the US at least, is a free subscription to Amazon Prime, which Amazon currently charges $79 a year for and provides benefits such as free unlimited two-day shipping.
A ten-inch version will likely be developed if the first is a hit, TechCrunch states.
While the plethora of Android tablets on the market have so-far failed to make much of a splash against the 800 pound gorilla that is the iPad, even before many details of the Amazon tablet were available commentators had suggested it had the potential to be a game-changer.
If the latest details are accurate, the Kindle tablet could indeed give Apple a run for its money.