Rumors: Amazon, Best Buy, Creating Own Android Tablets

October 13, 2010 - Written By Maddi Hausmann Sojourner

Amazon is in the content as well as the electronics business, while Best Buy is a major electronics reseller.  Are they developing their own brands of Android tablets? Let’s consider the supporting evidence.

The two companies are working on (Amazon), or at least considering (Best Buy) their own Android app stores.  Why would they want to do that?  What kind of exclusive apps would they be selling that wouldn’t find a home on Google’s Android Market?

How about exclusive apps for a new device?  Sure, Amazon already has the Kindle, but maybe there are customers who want an e-reader with some other abilities.  Amazon already has a huge customer base, with registered purchaser credit cards ready to buy whatever they wish to sell.

And it’s no rumor that Best Buy is working on a tablet when their CTO sends out tweets with photos.  CrunchGear suggests the photos CTO Robert Stephens twitted looked a lot like HP’s early Slate designs, and that Best Buy’s in-house Rocketfish brand is a way for HP to sell their tablet design under another brand name, if they don’t succeed in the enterprise market where HP is directing them.

Meanwhile when TechCrunch got the tip about Amazon’s Android store, there was a second part to it: Amazon was developing an iPad competitor.  And that dovetails perfectly with the rumors on what Lab 126, Amazon’s development shop in Cupertino, is working on.  Lab 126 brought Amazon the Kindle, and the NY Times heard they were working on “other consumer products.”

So to recap: Amazon has announced they are developing an Android app store and rumored to be developing an Android tablet.  Best Buy hasn’t hidden their Rocketfish tablet project, but won’t confirm that an Android app store is coming.

Plenty of rumors to follow!  Stay tuned.

Graphic: Android and Me