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Kindle Tablet to be a Playbook Clone?

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That’s what the gdgt blog are reporting, but I’m going to take this one with a grain of salt. Ryan Block posted this morning that his sources at Amazon told him that on Wednesday Amazon will be launching the tablet they have, not the tablet they want.

According to Ryan, Amazon had to make a number of compromises in order to get the Kindle out the door in time for this holiday season. They decided to go outside their own team at Lab126 and signed a deal with Quanta. The kTab is reportedly going to look a lot like the Playbook, and that’s because the Playbook was the starting point (according to Ryan). This shortcut was used because of time. If Amazon want to ship by the end of October this was their only option.

It sounds like Amazon and Quanta made a number of changes to the design, but we won’t know what they are until Wednesday. The tablet is "supposed to be pretty poor" and is a "stopgap" measure. It sounds like Amazon are afraid of what Barnes & Noble might launch next month, and that they’re pretty anxious to get something out the door – anything, just so long as it ships.

TBH I never took the "kTab as an iPad Killer" idea very seriously, and now I clearly had a good reason. The kTab is clearly going to be about as well designed as the original Kindle. The software features will be good, but the general performance and appearance might turn stomachs.

At least that’s what the latest rumors say. I’m not taking a side until I see it on Wednesday.

Update: I’ve just finished reading and thinking about the TechCrunch rumor that Wednesday’s announcement will be the Kindle Fire. MG Siegler also reports thatthe kTab will be based on a Texas Instruments OMAPs CPU, same as on a number of newer Android gadgets (and the Playbook). The kTab is also believed to be running Android v2.1, which is not a good thing. That is last year’s OS and it feels like it.

I’m not so sure I beleive it. First of all, there’s no trademark for the term. Amazon have not registered Kindle Fire or Fire. That tends to make me doubt that they will use it. More importantly, Kindle Fire doesn’t sound quite right. It’s a verb- noun pairing, and while it does roll off the tongue it doesn’t quite have the same alliteration of just Kindle.

On the other hand, this is the guy who got the first look at the kTab. He clearly has inside sources so this report is probably true.

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Syn September 26, 2011 um 6:48 pm

It would be a mistake for Amazon to release crap, especially considering how well B&N design NC on their first go. Now the second gen model is bound to be an improvement since B&N has had a year of user feedback and time to make the device even better.

I guess we’ll see come Wednesday, but MG seemed pretty impressed with the device when he played around with it..

Mike Cane September 27, 2011 um 8:31 am

It won’t much matter how craptastic it might be in terms of Android. It’s AMAZON! It’s KINDLE! It’s OMFGZ AMAZON HAS INVENTED A COLOR EBOOK READER!!!!11111two

It’ll be Oprah’s next Favorite Thing. (Does anyone even watch her anymore?)

If it’s a Playbook clone, B&N can at least smirk over how lush the Nook Color is in comparison.

fjtorres September 27, 2011 um 9:38 am

Last I heard, Oprah had retired to count her money and look for politicians to endorse.
But Barbara Walters crew is available.

fjtorres September 27, 2011 um 9:42 am

Word is, RIM is sitting on a zillion unsold Playbooks.
Maybe Amazon bought their stock for $50 apiece, reflashed them, and are going to sell them at $99. I hear there is an enormous market for $99 tablets.
And unlike other vendors, Amazon’s servers can handle the load. 😉

Alexander Inglis September 27, 2011 um 12:46 pm

Amazon does not make gigantic blinded-by-ego mistakes. This tablet will be a success based on delivering a strong user experience at a price people are willing to pay. The pundits, a number of them remarkably partisan folks, love gossip and back biting but in the end its the consumer who decides.

If Amazon stitches together a decent performance 7″ tablet with its cloud storage, Amazon Prime with unlimited video, backfills color for ebooks, magazines and vooks, opens a new market for Amazon MP3 and further entrenches customers in the Amazon eco-system … it will do well. If it is priced right, it will do very well.

All this talk about iPad this and that is not relevant because that is not what the Amazon tablet is supposed to be. Nor is it terribly relevant which android OS it’s based on because Amazon operates Appstore for Android and can control those issues.

The price will be relevant. Wrap all the above up into a $299 or less price point and, for the US consumer, this has potential for a winning product and 1.0 in an evolving new product platform and longer term revenue stream.

The Kindle Fire just Killed Off the Android Tablet Market – The Digital Reader September 29, 2011 um 10:34 am

[…] might be a Playbook clone but with its current price I do not care. I don’t see why anyone thought this was a make-do […]

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