As the weeks go by and the holiday sales season gets ever closer, we get more and more details about the upcoming Kindle Tablets. Yes, their very existence has only been hinted at in anything resembling official Amazon.com communication, but we know it’s coming. It’s only a matter of figuring out in what forms and with what focus. Now we have a bit more of a line on what the higher-end option of what appears to be the initial release group will be.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to find out that the Kindle Tablet reportedly codenamed “Hollywood” would have a visual media focus to it. Now, though, we have a bit more to go on than random conjecture based on that name. A recent report note from investment firm Detwiler Fenton indicates that the anticipated tablet will have a 10″ color screen as well as a bundled trial of an Amazon video streaming service such as, or possibly exactly the same as, that offered at the moment as a perk to Amazon Prime members. It will also feature significantly more processing power than the other Kindle Tablet offering or offerings expected to launch around the same time, which when added to the anticipated pricing of around $399 would seem to make it a very real threat to the industry leading iPad.
Now, we know that Amazon has been doing so amazingly well with the existing Kindle line because of their focus on selling content for the whole platform rather than simply a line of physical eReading devices. Rumors go so far as to say that the Kindle itself is being sold near cost. It makes sense, by extension, that they will want to continue this approach in other forms of media if possible. Video makes perfect sense, as does music. They have a presence in the retail market for both, in addition to the app marketplace that we have to assume will work exceptionally well with the new Kindle Tablets. I anticipate an expansion of all of these either in terms of content or functionality before the launch, of course.
If the Kindle ‘Hollywood” Tablet is going to be pointed at the iPad, like many of us are assuming, it will only really have a chance if Amazon can compete successfully against the iTunes store. That means streaming audio and video, cloud storage, and an amazing selection. Nothing less will do. Right now the Amazon Instant Video Store is a decent start, but it only does so much. We are definitely likely to see an expansion of the offerings by the holidays as well as an extended Amazon Prime membership benefit list that takes advantage of it. What else happens will depend in large part on what the other new Kindle offerings are focussed on. A pocket-sized Kindle, perhaps, with a heavy music or audiobook emphasis? There are a bunch of different openings for new media-consumption devices that remain to be exploited. You have to admit, though, video is a great start.