if the movies/music/applications are regional free
then I'll get, otherwise.... I am happy with my PC, thank you very much
The Amazon Tablet rumours will not die - the latest from Taiwan is that the books'n'everything-seller is aiming to have 4 million units ready for autumn. Getting ready for peak sales in the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas is crucial for any new hardware launch. Today's rumour comes courtesy of component manufacturers …
I've not read a book in a decade but I really want a kindle - as long as there's some hack that I could wikipedia, read emails n social crap like fb/msn - proper keyboard and readable screen = brilliant.
Except it needs to be waterproof too just to shut up those who (wrongly) say you can take a book in the bath
You've got free 3G in many countries and Wikipedia in most, mobile versions of gmail, facebook and possibly web versions of msn (I don't use it). It ain't perfect, but works reasonably well.
I suggest you go and see a friend with one or pop-in to your nearest John Lewis or PCWorld etc and have a look yourself
The only corporate lock-in is if you want to use amazon's backup/cloudy-sync-wossname.
You can skip the whole amazon step and just plug it in to your computer via the magic that is USB, and then use calibre (or conversion software du jour) to put whatever you like on it.
Will Tablets go the same way as the 'Netbook' ?
I'm not saying the Netbook has 'vanished', but rather, the general public was Wowed by the cheap price and cute small form factor & the market got saturated pretty damn quick.
But the Netbook fits perfectly into a smaller, niche market. The 'Road warrior' who needs a little more than a smart phone, but wants to travel light. They need to input text easily, so a keyboard is essential. They need long battery life, so the minimal power consumption is a bargain.
Programmers / web devs on holiday - I've met loads who love their netbooks. Heck, they'll sit on the couch and hack away on them - niche market.
After the dust settled, the Netbook found it's niche markets and the general public was no longer 'wowed' by them. For most people, the desktop computer or laptop made more sense.
The tablet has now replaced the Netbook as the new consumer Wow factor device - it's cool, it's touchy feely, it's fun... but ultimately, is it a passing fad?
The niche market for Tablet devices is pretty obvious - a digital clipboard that can be adapted for any sector which requires rapid input and feedback.
What I'm attempting to say is that there's an immediate bubble here until the dust settles - there's a saturation point that will be reached pretty quickly, until such point that tablets find their niche markets, of which, there will be many.
Ultimately, the smart phone will probably remain the primary mobile interface and for most people, it fits their needs, rather than their gadget grabbing dreams.
Lets face it, the average smart phone is portable, powerful and does everything a tablet can do and more (it's a phone), except on a smaller screen.
"except on a smaller screen."
There is the crux of the problem. You simply can't edit docs (or even view them comfortably) on a phone sized screen. Ditto eBooks and even browsing is a pain compared to a large screen device.
I've just got an Asus Transformer and my HTC Desire HD now seems really clunky in comparison. Constant scrolling, mistyping and screen flipping. Certainly better than nothing when out and about, but the tablet has it beat. I still use my HTC as an iPod type device though, which it excels at.
The best thing about the Transformer is the detachable keyboard. Best of both the tablet and netbook worlds!
I guess Motorola (and now Asus) are touting these dockable phone devices. As you say, the latest phones have the power. The trouble is the Atrix dock is just silly money. Then there is the issue of battery life. You can only cram so much battery into a phone sized case.
They sold ebooks below cost prompting a move to publishers setting prices, how was that a good thing?
Unless you're referring to all those 99p self-published cack tittles which make up their bestseller list while other platforms such as Nook and IBooks have bestseller lists made up of proper books sold at high prices?
It would be good if another company (ie not Apple) made genuinely well selling tablet and Amazon's content deals could make it them but as they never release sales figures we'll never know.
...in terms of having the best customer service in the world, already offering streaming rentals as well as downloadable movies and TV shows on desktops, consumer electronic devices etc, DRM-free music for cheap, books readable on all operating systems and devices, all stored and always-available in the world's best cloud architecture, Amazon AWS.
The smartest thing by Amazon was to add Amazon Instant Video for Prime subscribers ($79/year) for FREE - this should slowly eat into Netflix territory, all they need is a bit bigger selection and finally introduce HD streaming for desktop PCs (note to studios: if piracy isn't a concern at Netflix then it shouldn't be at Amazon either.)
Google's Music beta w/ 20k songs free is a nice competitor in the music arena but Google has little chance to get into the media business as waist-deep as Amazon did, let alone Google has little to do with retailing/online sales beyond its own products or searching results (it would just endanger its core business, selling ads on search results.) Amazon sells music, movies, digital books, audiobooks - you name it, Google has little chance to ever succeed here unless studios suddenly decide they want to get in bed with Google and Google is willing to risk alienate its advertisers, partners etc.
We know Apple is busy working on its next-gen TV unit and upgrading its own cloud architecture I don't see how would they catch up with Amazon here (provided Bezos et al gets the tablet right and won't make stupid compromises): Amazon Video is already there in every new TV set or Blu-Ray player or media device made by Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, LG, Vizio etc - heck, even Tivos come with Amazon Video preloaded. Best part is that Amazon has nothing to with devices, hardware support etc.When I tested their HD streaming quality I found it very nice - better than my PoC Time Warner cable (though if you have TWC in NYC you know its junk quality HD channels are not much of a challenge.)
I think Apple's walled garden and dedicated hardware approach won't help here, let alone Amazon's very high customer satisfaction rate - they are really one of the best one out there. When in one of my early tests bandwidth wasn't perfect (I was experimenting with a wireless bridge) and I got moved back to SD, a day or two later I got an email from Amazon saying they have noticed I rented the HD version but I watched it mostly in HD so here's a full rebate and sorry for my problems... Amazon customer service. I mean, amazing. :)
It's one of the few great big companies, I hope they get it right.
If you have tried the Kindle or a competitor you will know it's e-ink which makes e-readers what they are. I would like to see a two-sided tablet, an e-ink side for ebooks and and a LCD screen on the other side for traditional tablet use.
In the meantime I think Amazon have the "ecosystem" to be a genuine challenger to the Apple iPad.
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