Amazon said to be skimping on Android tablet in attempt to undercut iPad on price

“Amazon has been readying a color screen tablet that will run the Google Android operating system,” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. “According to a person who works with Amazon and asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak publicly by the company, Amazon has struggled with a number of issues while building its upcoming tablet.”

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“Executives worried that putting Android on an Amazon tablet would be like opening a new music and video store on a city street already packed with dozens of other music and video stores,” Bilton reports. “In the end, Amazon realized that if it created its own operating system for its upcoming tablet, it would need to entice developers to build apps on yet another platform… Hewlett-Packard, with its webOS, and Research in Motion, also with its own operating system, are having a harder time winning developer’s time and they have far fewer apps.”

MacDailyNews Take: Android tablet sufferers aren’t much better off – their app choices are few and far between. A couple hundred versus hundreds of thousands for iPad users.

“Amazon has also been working hard to offer a device that is competitively priced compared to other tablets. The person who works the company said Amazon planned to offer its Kindle tablet at a lower price than the Apple iPad, which costs from $500 to $830 depending on memory size and 3G abilities,” Bilton reports. “To do this, Amazon is building its tablet with the bare necessities inside. Limiting memory capacity, peripherals and choosing to skip a built-in camera in the device, the person said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just what the world needs, more half-assed cheap crap afflicted with AppLack™.


  1. As others have pointed out, past sneering about “over-priced toys” and the “Apple luxury tax” is now proving to bite Apple’s competitors in the butt. Back in late 2009, everyone was complacently expecting that Apple’s rumored tablet** would cost well over a grand. But Apple had invested wisely in its supply chain (using all the profits banked from competing on quality and user experience, rather than slavishly chasing specs and market share). The end result: iPad pricing so devilishly aggressive that now it can hardly be matched even by crap knockoffs, much less competitive products. How’s THAT Apple tax for ya?

    **You ever notice how Apple’s product copy never refers to the iPad as a tablet? That’s because its not. “Tablets” are all the cheap clones and half-baked knockoffs that attempt to kill the iPad. Sure, its easy to beat the iPad on price if that’s all you care about. Just get an Etch-a-Sketch to sorta “play” Flash: and really, it wouldn’t be much worse than some of the crap out there now.

    Oh, and look: there’s Amazon, about to shovel yet another “tablet” onto the field. Good luck with that, Jeffy. Whatever the result, no doubt we can look forward to seeing it trumpeted as a smashing success on every Amazon webpage for the next five years (though always without public sales numbers, curiously).

    1. @Berrylium “AppLack? Isn’t that an insurance company?”

      AppLack is a descriptive term for the app situation in Android tablets. I think it is rather clever term and worthy of note to the one who coined it!

      AppLack….I love it!

  2. Hum…. Did a company last year through K-Mart try to sell a value priced [ read cheep!!! Ok super cheep joke] Android tablet for 169 list on sale at 150? And dident said company just croak….

  3. There is a balance between low price and quality.

    If they can hit it correctly they will probably sell well enough.

    Ive tried some sub 200 android tablets and wholly crap all of them were epic piles of crape

  4. I own a Kindle and an iPad2. Really don’t know why Amazon feels the need, especially a me too Fandroid Theftware device.

    On my 3rd Kindle & 2nd iPad, regular Amazon customer & former shareholder- otherwise well within the target market. Don’t do it & please don’t eff up the Kindle by trying to make a tablet computer out of it.

  5. Not having a camera may be their ace in the hole.  There are a lot of places that won’t allow cameras; courtrooms, factories, military, gyms.  A tablet would be useful, but the camera stops them.  Amazon has a good name that could attract professionals who won’t touch some no name POS.  Don’t think of it as a iPad killer, it is a way to take good customers away from other Android brands.  A small but lucrative, loyal market.   

    1. Hmmm, pretty interesting analysis about the lack of camera. You might have hit on an actual good reason (for some) to not want a built-in camera on their tablet. Nice job.

  6. Amazon needs a tablet because?

    Why are these companies trying to copy and compete with everything Apple makes?

    Shouldn’t e-bay be making a tablet of their own by now?


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