Analyst: Amazon might be the best competitor for the iPad

New tablets from Motorola (NYSE:MMI), Toshiba, Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), Hewlett-Packard and others may be solid products, but flawed product strategies will prevent them from being viable competitors to the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The report claims Apple trumps its competitors on price and retail distribution.

But there is one possible disruptor to Apple's stranglehold on the tablet market: Amazon. According to Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, Amazon could create a compelling Android or Linux-based tablet that would incorporate the Amazon storefront and other compelling Amazon features such as one-click purchasing and Amazon's recommendation engine. Further, Amazon could develop a pricing model similar to its popular ereader, the Kindle, in which it sells a tablet below price and makes up the loss by selling content.

Epps also cited research showing more consumers said they would consider purchasing an Amazon tablet (24 percent) over a Motorola tablet (18 percent) because of Amazon's content assets such as ebooks, MP3s, videos and games.

However, Epps noted Amazon likely would not include wireless data access in its tablet pricing, as it currently does with its Kindle, because tablet users likely would consume more mobile data with a tablet than they would with a Kindle.

Indeed, Amazon has made steps toward a tablet play already. The online retailer launched its Appstore Developer Portal in early January, which officially confirmed its long-rumored plans to roll out an Android application storefront. The launch of an Android storefront makes Amazon content available over more devices.

Earlier this month Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled the second-generation version of its popular iPad tablet, called the iPad 2. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will be Apple's U.S. wireless carrier partners for the gadget, which will go on sale tomorrow.

For more:
- see this Forrester Research blog post

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