Amazon tablet: 5 features needed to battle the iPad

To stand a fighting chance against the iPad, Amazon needs to come out of the gate with these five things nailed down

Amazon’s unreleased tablet is not expected to arrive until November, but it is already being pitted as the number one rival to Apple’s iPad. Analysts and pundits alike are placing their bets on Amazon, as other Android tablets failed to captivate much consumer interest. But can Amazon get it right where other didn’t succeed?

If Amazon plays to its strengths, the online retailer could have a hit on its hands. The tablet reportedly runs on a so-called forked version of Google’s Android OS, which means that the user interface on Amazon’s tablet won’t look anything like the Android most users are familiar with. Here are five other things Amazon needs to nail down to stand a fighting chance against the iPad.

Get the price right

People want a less expensive tablet than Apple’s $500 iPad, according to a survey, and they’re looking for Amazon to deliver one. In the study, almost half of those polled said that $300 was the price point that would get them to consider an Android tablet over an iPad. The good news: Amazon is reportedly set to sell its tablet for $250, hitting the pricing sweet spot.

Have a packed app store

Let’s face it, Google’s Honeycomb App Market selection is quite dire. The app selection is limited, and once it grows, it could face the same malware and bogus app problems like its smartphone counterpart. Amazon already has a solution for this in place: the Amazon Appstore for Android. Amazon handpicks apps for its store, keeping the number of apps down, but the quality of them high. It’s not very likely that Amazon would feature another app store, including Google’s own, on its tablet.

Build a media store

Amazon already has its own e-book and music stores, as well as a movie streaming service as part of Amazon Prime. With all these services put together, Amazon would solve the problem of getting content onto Android tablets (Google Music is beta and U.S.-only, and Netflix support is patchy).

Use an easy payment service

As one of the biggest online retailers in the world, Amazon has a huge database of registered members and their credit cards linked to their accounts. Amazon also knows how to make the purchasing experience easy for the users (in a stark contrast to the confusing mixed carrier billing and Google Checkout situation in the Android Market). By tying your online account to the tablet, Amazon could allow one-tap shopping of music, apps, movies and books without too much fuss.

Have a cloud storage solution

If Amazon’s tablet will come as low-priced as predicted, chances are you won’t get too much on-board storage for your media, so it will need some sort of cloud storage solution, to which Amazon is no stranger to. The company’s Cloud Drive gives you 5GB of free online storage for media and documents, which, if bumped up to 10GB to 20GB, would give enough space for most users to store their files.

What other features Amazon’s tablet should have to stand a chance against the iPad? Sound off in the comments.

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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