The gdgt blog posits that Amazon is going to introduce an Android tablet, and they even go so far as to predict that Samsung will be the maker of said device. I have said before that Amazon tablets are coming, so this type of rumor isn't surprising to me. I previously predicted phones as well, but let's limit this to tablets for now.
Who makes this tablet for Amazon will matter little in the end. It will have the Amazon happy face logo on the front and no one will care who snapped the case closed. Instead of looking at who will produce the tablet, let's look at the evidence that it is coming. Hang with me here for a minute because there is a much larger picture that needs to be considered.
Amazon has taken the reverse Apple approach. If you think back to the original iPhone it shipped without an App Store, Book Store and Video Store. They introduced the consumption device first and content was built on top of that. Amazon's device will be complete when it ships. Think about what they have been building over the last two years or so.
Amazon MP3 Store
How many Android devices ship without the Amazon MP3 Store? This is the only real alternative to the iTunes Music Store and from a mobile device it works really well. Their MP3 selection is huge and their support is first-rate when something goes wrong. The Amazon MP3 app is now an MP3 player as well.
Amazon Kindle Store
In my opinion, this is the best mobile bookstore available. I have the Nook app as well but I spend my money in the Kindle app. I prefer how it does things, and anything that I have ever wanted to read I have found in the Kindle store. Again, I've always received great support from Amazon when needed. This is an important theme to pick up on.
Amazon.com App & Amazon Prime
The Amazon.com app is the most convenient thing in the world. Scan that barcode on your Charmin package and order up another case. Don't let me catch you laughing. Charmin is the best and Amazon case pricing cuts my cost per wipe in half. Anyway, your $80 per year Amazon Prime membership drops your purchase at your door in two days for no additional shipping charge. Prime may not be new but it is certainly a huge part in the coming Amazon lifestyle devices. I hate to say it again, but if you buy something from Amazon it will be right or they will make it right. Right away.
Amazon Streaming Video
I have access to this now on my Sony Blu-Ray player for renting shows and movies. Prime members currently get unlimited streaming from a very limited catalog of available content included with their membership fee. Netflix is still king and probably will remain so, but Amazon will have millions of users for this service when the selection improves and their devices begin to appear.
We will call this one proof positive that Amazon branded devices are on the way.
If you have an Android device that includes Android Market and have been using the Amazon Appstore then you have to be aware of the issues. For those that don't know, let me tell you about a few of them.
1) You have two places to check for app updates. At times your two app stores conduct a pissing match to see which will update your installed apps. I just went through this little issue with MyCast Weather.
2) The Amazon app approval process is slow. It is frustrating to know that while the Angry Birds Seasons update for Easter has been available in the Android Market for several days, that update is still hung up in the Amazon app approval process.
Frustrating users are not why the Amazon Appstore exists. It exists because the coming Amazon tablets will not be "with Google" devices and will be the only readily available app store for them to include.
Back to the point
Amazon is stacking the deck to be your lifestyle device. You'll buy and listen to your music in the Amazon MP3 app. You will stream your favorite videos in the Amazon video app. You will read your books and magazines in the Kindle app. You will even replace your warehouse club membership with Amazon Prime and buy your bulk toilet paper by scanning a barcode. With your Amazon tablet.
Amazon is aiming to be the lifestyle device alternative to the iPad that every other manufacturer is failing to become. They will provide a really well spec'd device in a clean, wellmade form and they will do it at a price that will make total sense for the buyer.
And Samsung might make the device.