Bezos: Tablet Will Be A Kindle Companion

Will Amazon make a tablet? ‘Stay tuned,’ says Jeff Bezos

Asked today about the possibility of Amazon launching a multipurpose tablet device, the company’s president and CEO Jeff Bezos said to “stay tuned” on the company’s plans. In an interview at Consumer Reports’ offices, Bezos also signaled that any such device, should it come, is more likely to supplement than to supplant the Kindle, which he calls Amazon’s “purpose-built e-reading device.”

Bezos acknowledged the popularity of reading e-books (many of them sold by Amazon) on tablet computers such as the iPad. But he added that this popularity doesn’t spell the demise of the Kindle.

“We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” he said. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer.”

And this:

He indicated that color-screen Amazon device that uses an energy-frugal technology such as E Ink (used in the monochrome Kindle) isn’t imminent: Color E Ink “is not ready for prime time…the colors are very pale.” But he added that “it continues to be improved” and “it makes a lot of sense for there to be a low-power, reflective color display. I think that’s something you could build a fantastic product around.”

This tells me:

1) Amazon has a tablet in the works
2) It is not coming soon — like before Fall
3) It will have that new Mirasol display
4) The screen will be six inches

I am also thinking now that this will not be an Android tablet. People seeing the Amazon Android App Store and making the leap to an Android-powered tablet are likely wrong. The Kindle has done very well without Android and this new tablet will be a Kindle too. This is why Amazon has been wooing app developers for it. Devs will flock to a color Kindle. Yes they will.

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4 Comments

Filed under Amazon Kindle, eBooks: General, Other Hardware

4 responses to “Bezos: Tablet Will Be A Kindle Companion

  1. Ravi

    If Amazon is working on a color Kindle instead of a full-featured Android tablet, they’re crazy. Forget the iPad, Amazon needs a device competitive with the NOOK Color. Putting aside whatever rooting end users do, with the Froyo upgrade and support for third-party apps, the NOOK Color is as full-featured a tablet as B&N wants at a competitive price.

    Frankly, the only reason my wife and I (both heavy Kindle users) haven’t replaced our Kindle DXs with rooted NOOK Colors is because of the increasingly strong Amazon tablet rumors. If those don’t pan out, we’ll certainly re-evaluate our decision. More generally, Amazon will have given B&N with a huge opening that I think they’ll take full advantage of.

    • mikecane

      It’ll be a Kindle, but also a tablet. But I don’t think it’ll be Android like NookColor. It’s possible Amazon could go with an older open version of Android and extend that, but I’m not sure that’s a very wise or sustainable course of action. People expecting Android would be disappointed by its limitations. The main thing would be to improve the Kindle, upgrade and extend that market, and get devs on board.

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