Ronnie05's Blog

Amazon could be Android’s second coming back into Tablet category

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on September 19, 2011

In an earlier post about the growth rush on Tablets, I had mentioned how Android has lost ground to Blackberry and Apple in Tablets in Q3, 2011. Given the $99 gold rush on the HP Touchpad, Android is not expected to recover any ground in Q3, 2011 and it will only be Q4, 2011 before Androids make a pushback into market share for tablets. Amazon has already been battling its problems in platform fragmentation for a while now and hopes to put this to rest with the Android 4.0 Ice-cream Sandwich release. In that context, Amazon’s intent to sell its Kindle tablet with its custom built on Android platform was seen as another splinter in the multi-splinter Android platform. Read about fragmentation in Android platform

On second thoughts however, Amazon’s customisation of Android for its Kindle Tablet could actually be better for the tablet market. The full colour Amazon Kindle tablet will be based on Android 2.1, with layers of customization on top. The user interface, touch gestures and other features will be optimized for accessing Amazon content via its Website, which has just been upgraded with bigger buttons and spacing to make it more easily accessible using touch screens. Amazon’s brand could propel more development for its own content, creating a “better ecosystem” than currently exists for tablet users accessing Google’s Android Market store. Its reach is so broad that it can easily entice Android developers to create apps just for its version of the Android platform, sold exclusively through Amazon’s own Android store. There are over 100 Honeycomb applications, compared with over 100,000 apps for Apple’s iPad. With Amazon behind it, the Kindle Tablet ecosystem could foster tens of thousands of apps, if not more. The result, combined with a sub-$300 (£190) price point, is a product that folks would classify as a winner.

• Thanks to Amazon’s brand, the Kindle Tablet could quickly become the dominant Android tablet platform that developers support, with an Appstore that consumers will come to trust
• Amazon’s online expertise would make it harder for Samsung, HTC and other Android tablet vendors to compete with itself and Apple on the app store front.
• Arguably, Amazon with its DNA of online retail could ensure they would build a more competitive platform to take on Apple and Android.
• Amazon could worry Apple as the only tablet maker with considerable clout in brand, applications and content – where Apple is strongest.

2012 is the year of return of Android or rather the takeover of Android in tablets. However, Barclay’s has released a report predicting 6.4mln Android tablet sales in 2012 which is a few multiples of the 2011 Android numbers, but far less than the 50 million iPads that are expected to be sold in 2012. But it is nice to know someone else with staying power is trying. Amazon could make the run up to Christmas interesting.

Reference Posts on Android Fragmentations: Fragmentation versus Open Source

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