Content, not technology, will be the key selling point for Amazon's consumer-friendly device, named the Kindle Fire, which could see it succeed where the tech-obsessed models have failed, as Fox signs up as a Prime partner.
What's On Your Tablet?
This Wednesday, Amazon is expected to unveil its Kindle Tablet, and while it will be based on Android, and have a decent screen, processor and some memory, don't expect Amazon to be shouting about GHz, MIPS and anti-aliasing.
Instead, the company will be shouting about millions of books, music tracks, TV shows and movies, plus games and other content, because that's what end users really want from a tablet -- something that RIM's dud PlayBook, as well as HP's TouchPad and others have failed to understand.
With a content library to match Apple's (and, perhaps, Sony's, which also has a pair of tablets due out) Amazon also one distinct advantage: Tens of millions of regular customers, who visit its site on a weekly basis. With the old Kindle having sold successfully, replacing it with the new model on the front of the store will give it free advertising to a massive consumer audience.
An example of this is today's signing of Fox as an Amazon Prime partner for streaming TV shows and movies. This deal will bring the total number of Prime instant videos to more than 11,000 movies and TV shows later this fall.
Update: The invites are out and the device is called the Kindle Fire, and will start shipping at the beginning of November, and it was designed by the same company as RIM's PlayBook, but is pretty much its own entity.
The Price is Right?
With a great price, subsidized by content, which will be encouraged by the likelihood of a bundled subscription to Amazon Prime, Amazon will be able to sell millions of these in the runup to Christmas as a must-have item and gift. Existing Kindle users will be keen to upgrade and, with no new iPad in sight, Amazon has a largely open field.
Only as a second thought will Amazon likely go into detail about games and apps. With its own Amazon Android store as the focal point for those sales, the company will also generate extra revenue with tie-ups for exclusive content. It may have some added social functions so users can share what book or movie they're currently into, which might become more important over time.
Whatever the specification, screen size (probably a 7-inch model) and extra hardware, all Amazon will really care about is selling content on these systems; anything else is a bonus. Check back on Wednesday for more news.