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Electronics Invasion: Here Come the Tablets!

The tablets are coming!!! Soon, they’ll be everywhere!

It sounds like the tagline to a low-budget alien invasion movie, but the tablet devices, like Apple’s iPad and the Motorola Xoom are coming – slowly replacing PCs and mobile devices; within a few years, so tech industry analysts tell us, it will be a tablet-computing world.

Amazon’s Tablet Journey
Amazon plans to boldly challenge Apple’s iPad market share when the online retailer releases an Amazon-branded tablet. Amazon’s device could be available as soon as October – and they’ve already hit the tablet market running – their popular Kindle Reader leads the ebook market.


Amazon’s tablet will not have a camera but will support all other standard tablet features.

The tablet, powered by Google’s Android operating system, is expected to have a 9-inch touchscreen (which is slightly smaller than an iPad’s display). One thing it won’t reportedly have is a camera, which is a concern for tech savvy buyers – no video chat like Apple iPad Facetime. But by not including a camera, Amazon lowers the cost of production, and ultimately the suggested retail price.

The iPad retails at $499.00, which is still a big deal for some consumers. Along with the release of the Amazon tablet, two new versions of the Kindle will also be unveiled. One featuring an electronic-ink touchscreen (which is more comparative with the Nook) and another new kindle includes a keyboard.

Amazon won’t disclose how many Kindles have been sold. The company did state however, their customers purchase more ebooks than than printed ones. That’s really saying something, given that Amazon still sells an amazing number of pieces of hard goods and media…books, DVDs and CDs.

Google Aims for Target
On July 17th, Target will begin selling Google’s iriver Story HD reader. The significance of Target’s support of Google’s eBooks platform is striking; it’s a move that can introduce Google’s devices directly into the bloodstream of the average American consumer. The iriver Story HD, as it’s called, will carry a $139.99 price tag, which puts it in direct competition with the Kindle reader and the Nook Simple Touch Reader (sold by retailer Barnes & Noble).


The iriver Story HD has Wi-FI for eBook downloads. The iriver has a simple design centered around a monochromatic black-and-gray screen and a QWERTY keyboard.

Google first entered the market in December 2010 when it launched its eBookstore. Since then, Google has made partnerships with more than 250 independent bookstores. iriver Story HD users will be able to download more than 3 million free Google eBooks, as well as hundreds of thousands of paid eBooks.

Blackberry’s Piece of the Pie
Research in Motion, or RIM, has lost marketshare. The creator of the popular BlackBerry has given plenty of ground to Apple, and is now trying to recapture and translate Blackberry’s popularity in the smartphone category to the tablet market. The BlackBerry PlayBook, was introduced in May. But the PlayBook’s lack of apps (and having to own a BlackBerry smartphone in order to get full utility out of the PlayBook) has not been helpful to RIM’s efforts to get the PlayBook into play with tablet buyers.

Growing App Markets
With the introduction of the tablets and the smartphone market, the real growth industry is app development for tablets, like Apple’s iPad. After all, the tablet hardware is only as powerful as the software or apps that run on it. Apps like Facetime, Garage Band and Angry Birds. These apps are also driving tablet sales; it will be interesting to watch both the development and hardware sides of the tablet business grow.

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posted by Phill Powell in News Blog and have No Comments

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