Amazon set to rival Apple with tablet launch

 

New York

Apple is girding for the entry of the first major challenger to its iPad tablet computer, a device from Amazon, whose low-cost Kindle is the most popular e-reader on the market.

In a tactic more usually associated with Apple, Amazon has invited the media to a mysterious event tomorrow and batted away all inquiries as to what will be unveiled there, but the speculation is focused on a tablet that Amazon's chief executive Jeff Bezos has been dropping hints about for months.

Analysts are already hailing the arrival of the device as "a game-changer" that will shake Apple's near monopoly of the tablet computer market and catapult Amazon into the big league of companies selling digital content. As well as selling electronic books, Amazon will also be able to go head-to-head with Apple in the sale or rental of movies and software "apps" for tablet devices.

Amazon's launch comes after a string of disasters for other tablet makers who have gone up against the iPad sales juggernaut. Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry, issued a profit warning earlier this month in part because unsold stocks of its new PlayBook device were piling up in its warehouses. Samsung also recorded a disappointing start to shipments of its Galaxy Tab, and Hewlett-Packard gave up entirely on the tablet business after its TouchPad, based on operating software it acquired for $1.2bn, failed to sell.

Apple, meanwhile, has sold 29 million iPads since the device was unveiled by then-chief executive Steve Jobs 15 months ago. Its launch represented a serious challenge to the Amazon Kindle, which has just over 50 per cent of the e-reader market, but which risked being undermined by a tablet device that could act as an effective e-reader as well as doing much more.

Apple shareholders see the prospect of a full-service tablet from Amazon as the most serious challenge yet to the iPad, and Apple shares were down more than 2 per cent yesterday, despite the generally buoyant stock market. As well as nerves ahead of the Amazon launch, a report, written by analysts at JP Morgan, said that several suppliers indicated in the past two weeks that Apple lowered fourth-quarter iPad orders by 25 per cent. "Our understanding is that this is not in preparation for a new model launch," said Gokul Hariharan, JP Morgan's Asia Pacific electronic manufacturing services analyst.

The tech industry has gone into speculation overdrive on what the Amazon tablet will look like. According to well-informed sources, it is a big departure from the original Kindle, which used e-ink rather than the back-lit screens typical of computers, and features a touchscreen interface. It will run Google's Android operating system, for which Amazon already operates an app store selling software. And it will price at about half the level of the iPad.

MG Siegler, a technology blogger who claimed to have seen a prototype of the device, said earlier this month that it would be promoted heavily on Amazon.com and will initially be bundled with Amazon's movie streaming service, Amazon Prime.

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy as ECB finally wield the axe
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

    £30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

    £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Engineer with SQL skills

    £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas