According to reports, Amazon.com is planning to battle Apple with the launch of its own tablet computer. The device will reportedly hit the market by October and it will help the online retailer sell its music, movies, and other types of digital content.
Since introducing the iPad last year, Apple had sold 19.5 million of the devices as of the end of March. It is far and away the leader in the tablet market, so Amazon’s looming entry into the tablet market will undoubtedly have a long road ahead of it.
Although Amazon has yet to officially comment on this new tablet, reports suggest it will have a nine-inch screen and will run on Google’s Android platform. The device won’t have a camera like the iPad 2, but it is expected to be competitively priced in order to lure tablet customers away from Apple.
For Amazon, opportunities in the tablet market won’t come without risks. The retailer will need to have a strategy in place to avoid cannibalizing sales of its popular Kindle, which Amazon claims to be its best-selling product. A new tablet will also need to differentiate itself from the current Kindle, which is perceived as a dedicated-reading device.
A new Amazon tablet will face many challenges while taking on the iPad, but few companies are better-positioned according to Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester Research analyst. Thanks to the retailer’s digital content store, it should provide customers a robust alternative to Apple’s iTunes store.