Apparently Amazon is planning to bring more tablets to the market. And probably even in 2011 already. At least, such a multi-use tablet has more or less already been confirmed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
First: The probability of success for Amazon is downright good, having already built up a successful e-reader ecosystem with its Kindle. Amazon tablets would likely be built on Android and could push Android in two ways which are increasingly missing from Apple’s iPad: Push #1 is the link between app stores to customer’s account information. The attractiveness of an easy payment system for app developers could lead to the second push: If developers ensure compatibility to the Amazon tablets because of its easy payment system, then Amazon could build a de facto standard for Android and reduce the fragmentation of this operating system in the consumer segment. One could imagine the “Amazon compatible Android tablet” label from third party manufacturers. Assuming no issues with hardware, Amazon could create a drift towards their standard.
After seeing how Amazon might be successful with their endeavour, the next question is why? What is on Amazon’s radar?
It seems as if Amazon is actively preparing for a time when entertainment goods such as books and films won’t be consumed from physical media but rather exclusively in digital form via the internet. Amazon appears to be setting itself up as a major player in this new world. With the Kindle, they’ve already made big steps towards this goal for the book industry. Nevertheless, this evolution of one of Amazon’s core businesses is an enormous challenge.
A good example of a successful evolution can be taken from Netflix: Netflix began as a DVD rental service per post and has in the last years increasingly changed its focus to internet streaming videos. Now they are the leading video streaming service for film and TV shows in the US, creating more traffic than BitTorrent. At the same time, the video rental chain Blockbuster has declared bankruptcy.
A side note: With good reason, Netflix didn’t start out as “DVDflix” and Amazon didn’t use “books.com”. SEO with descriptive domain names have real limitations.
Back to Amazon: The Amazon Cloud Drive and CloudPlayer are playing exactly into this strategy to actively stimulate the consumer change. In addition, the rumours that Amazon is planning a film streaming service appear consistent with this strategy.
In the next years, tablets will not only become the most important internet devices beside mobile phones. They will in its various forms also become the central remote control for the upcoming multimedia networked household. A foot in the door into this industry could have massive payoffs.
It will be interesting to see if Amazon integrates shopping elements into its tablets and if so, what kind of innovations could spring up when an e-commerce company has the freedom to create its own custom hardware front end. Thanks to its openness, Android is very customisable. And Apple has already shown with iOS what can be achieved when vertical integration works.
Amazon is preparing for a future where access to entertainment skips over the physical medium and thereby also the limitations of postal transportation. As a side effect, completely new potential might open up for Amazon. Whatever the case, it will be exciting to see what the e-commerce giant will be able to move with its tablets.
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Originally posted in German by Marcel Weiss, adapted for excitingcommerce.com by Jason Soo.