The release of Google’s Nexus 7 sparked a lot of tablet rumors. Some sources say that other OEMs are getting ready to release a tablet that would compete with Google’s entry into the tablet market. It’s a big challenge for the Nexus 7 to compete with Apple’s iPad, but also other tablets built on its parent company’s Android platform, one that’s served Amazon pretty well. Amazon’s Kindle Fire’s been the only Android-based tablet to give the iPad a run for its money, shifting the core battle to the marketplace instead of the device itself. And now that Google’s ready to rumble, with major upgrades to the Play market and a nexus 7 tablet all their own, Amazon may be suiting up for another bout of tablet warfare.
Though they share the same Android platform, Google’s serious about its tablet push, recently releasing their first Nexus 7 commercial, and it’s just adorable. A really feel-good commercial. But aside from their cute ad, Google’s seeing some early success with the tablet, having halted the sale of the 16GB version of the Nexus 7 on Google Play due to high demand.
Amazon’s ready to rumble
Everyone is expecting Amazon to release a follow up to their Kindle Fire anytime now, but it seems like they’ll be giving consumers more than one option when they release their next tablet, or tablets. According to Demos Parneros, president of U.S. Retail for Staples Inc., Amazon is getting ready to release tablets in different sizes as they push to sell more media content such as MP3s, movies, e-books, TV shows, apps and a lot more. Though Amazon representatives declined to comment on what Parneros said, it’s not impossible. Right now, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is the closest iPad competitor since they offer the device at a really affordable price plus they’ve successfully made a consumer user interface that makes purchasing on Amazon as easy as purchasing stuff on iTunes or Apple’s App Store.
The Year of the Tablets
Of course, Amazon’s not the only one due for a tablet upgrade this year. Rumors are running high that Apple, too, will offer more variety around their tablets, with an iPad mini or a “phablet-sized” smartphone in the 7-inch range to round out the iDevice family. We’ve heard from WWDC what Apple plans to do on the software side, and we’re still waiting for a new device, expected to hit the market later this year around the anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death. But every rival will need to respond to Google’s I/O revelations, which went far beyond their software announcements to include a new tablet and home entertainment device. Whatever Apple comes out with this year, it will hopefully offer more of an upgrade than its previous iPhone and iPad updates, which didn’t even register a name change for the respective products.
Microsoft, too, is prepping for a major tablet push this year as well, with the unveiling of the Surface, an upcoming Windows 8 launch and a cloud strategy to tie its devices and services together. However, another Microsoft investment, the Barnes & Noble Nook, may be more of a direct competitor to Amazon.
According to CNET, Barnes & Noble is getting ready to release their 7-inch tablet that features a “revolutionary screen technology”. According to CNET’s sources, B&N worked with another company in the development of their revolutionary screen that is yet to be seen in the market but failed to disclose any more information regarding the tablet. Sources are saying that the new Nook Tablet would probably be Windows based because of the B&N-Microsoft tie up. As for their current Nook Tablet, to up their sales, B&N is offering customers a $50 gift card for every purchase of a 16GB Nook Tablet until July 29th.
Amazon’s International push
Amazon’s investing in tech in more than one way, getting ready to conquer the world with their London expansion. They’ve chosen to setup a research and development headquarters in an eight-storey, 47,000 square foot office near London’s “TechCity” or “Silicon Roundabout” for “digital media development.”
“Innovation is part of the Amazon DNA and we are creating a centre of excellence to design and develop the next generation of TV and film services for a wide range of digital devices,” Paula Byrne, the centre’s managing director said.