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Amazon tablet could be first real iPad competitor, says analyst

If sold at a loss, Amazon tablet sales could skyrocket in the tablet market

If Amazon plays its cards right, Apple could soon be seeing its tablet market share fall by a notable degree.

According to Forrester analyst Sarah Epps, an ample supply of Amazon tablets for $299 or less at launch could be enough to put a prominent dent in the iPad-dominated market and sell anywhere from 3 to 5 million units by the end of 2011. She noted that Amazon’s infamous strategy of selling at a loss in order to gain market share would push more units than one would expect. After all, the recent HP TouchPad fire sale proved that consumers are willing to look beyond the iPad if other tablets are at the right price.

Furthermore, Epps sees no chance of an Amazon tablet being closely related to an Android experience, even though the tablet has been rumored to run on a highly customized build of Android. “It does need to differentiate its flavor of Android from all the rest, and that may come from emphasizing the Amazon experience over the Google one,” said Epps. OF course, Amazon would then have to do a lot better than the HP TouchPad and RIM PlayBook with webOS and BlackBerry OS, respectively.

A series of Amazon tablets are still expected to release later this year, but the online retail giant has yet to officially reveal its tablet plans despite the numerous rumors.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-08-29 (Update: 2012-05-26)