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In Pursuit of the Amazon Tablet

I had this nutty idea a few weeks back about how I might find proof of the Amazon Tablet. Eventually I realized that it probably wouldn’t work, but I like the idea so much that I wanted to share it.

There’s a market research and analytical firm called Flurry. You might not have heard of them, but I watch them because they occasionally release reports on market trends. The reports are worth reading, usually. (Flurry get their data from apps that are made by their partner developers. The apps include bits of code that report back to Flurry.)

If you have heard of Flurry, you probably remember them as the company that announced (before the iPad launched) that they were receiving data from 50 iPads. Flurry announced this on their blog in the weeks before the iPad launch last year, and it caused a fascinating uproar inside Apple.

I was hoping they could do something similar for the Amazon Tablet. If it ran Android then there’s a good chance that Flurry would be getting data from at least 1 app. But then I thought it through and realized it probably wouldn’t work.

If the AmTab is running Android then how exactly do you differentiate it from the mass of Android tablets? I’m not sure it’s possible. This was easy with the iPad; all other iOS devices were iPhones or iPod Touches. But with Android tablets there are so many manufacturers out there that picking just 1 cluster of tablets out of the multitude is difficult at best.

I had raised this idea with Flurry a few weeks back, but I doubt my attempt to contact them got much beyond the first level of customer service. That’s okay. This idea probably would not have worked anyway. If you can figure out how to make this work, please let me know. It’s potentially a great idea.

image by Sam Howzit

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Mike Cane August 16, 2011 um 10:14 am

Hmph. Clever idea but, yeah, it wouldn’t work unless Amazon put some identifier in their version of the browser. Then, of course, you’d have to know what that ID is too.

Nate Hoffelder August 16, 2011 um 10:23 am

I was hoping Flurry might pull a string that read "Kindle tablet". Wildly optimistic, I know.

JoeG August 16, 2011 um 8:36 pm

Hello Nate,

There is some kind of identifier in each Android device that must be available to third party Apps. You can see this demonstrated in the Amazon App store itself.

For example, I have two Android devices attached to my account: a Droid Incredible and a rooted Viewsonic G-tab with the VEGAN ROM on it. When I go to "Devices" in my Amazon account, "HTC Droid Incredible" and "nvidia VEGAn-TAB-v1.0.0b5.1.1" appear in the list.

Of course, this also demonstrates that developer could populate this field with any data they want, so the Amazon tab could purposefully make obscure this identifier.


Nate Hoffelder August 16, 2011 um 8:50 pm

I did know that, yes. You wouldn’t believe how many Android devices I’ve had in my Amazon account, and in fact very few have useful data in that ID string.

But it doesn’t change the fact that other than finding the word "Amazon" or "Kindle" in that string, there’s really no chance of finding the Amazon Tablets.

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