Rumors are making their rounds on the internet that Amazon will be releasing their very own Android tablet sometime in the third quarter of this year (which could be tomorrow or September or anytime in between). In fact, today I even saw projected sales numbers – 1.2 million shipments in the first 3 months. So what is actually known about this release? NOTHING! Amazon still is mum, so it’s all speculation. Still, with the success of the Kindle, Amazon has proven that they can enter a hardware market and make a strong run.
Given the Amazon initiatives into the tablet and smartphone market with apps for Kindle, MP3 store, Video Store, and music cloud, it seems like a no-brainer for them to release their own devices. Amazon also seems poised to make the biggest splash since Apple. They have more behind them than any other tablet maker.
Reliable rumors say that Amazon will be releasing two devices, but all we really know about them, at this point, are code names – Coyote and Hollywood. We assume this means two different size tablets, as opposed to a tablet and smartphone. Perhaps 7″ and 10″? We have also heard that one would run the Tegra-2 processor, while the other will sport a Tegra-3. So, perhaps, they will be the same size and vary between entry level and pro devices?
That’s a lot of questions and absolutely no answers. All indications point to these rumors being based in fact, though, so I assume we will find out more pretty soon. So, would you buy a tablet from Amazon? Do you think that Amazon entering the tablet market could mean real competition for Apple?
There have been rumors circulating on the internet for a while now about a Dell Streak 10″ tablet that would be called the Dell Streak Pro. Now the folks over at Android Central have come up with the proof. They have published a leaked tablet roadmap from Dell that lists, not just the Streak Pro, but two other tablets. The list features photos, release dates, and product specs.
The Streak Pro will pack an NVIDIA Tegra T25 processor and run Android Honeycomb. The 1280 x 800 resolution is standard for a 10″ device. There is no mention of memory or storage capacity. There really aren’t any surprises here other than the release date of June, which is earlier than what had been rumored.
More of a surprise were the other two listings – Latitude ST tablet and the Latitude XT-3 convertible tablet. The ST is another 10 inch tablet, but pack a much stronger hardware punch than the Streak Pro. The ST will come with 1366 x 766 resolution, an Intel Oak Trail 1.5 GHz processor, 128 GB of storage, and 1080p output. The XT will, supposedly, ship in October. That’s far enough away for a lot to change.
The XT-3 is a 13″ convertible with Windows 7 and a list of impressive hardware that includes an Intel i3, i5, or i7 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 1080p output. The target date is July of 2011.
There were no prices listed and the dates are probably tentative at best. Of course, while all of this looks legitimate we can’t write any of it in stone since it’s a leak and there has been no confirmation from Dell.
Earlier this month Apple revealed their follow up to the iPad, cleverly named the iPad 2. When Samsung saw it they were a little put back and decided to take their upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 back to the drawing board. Now, they have revealed the new tablet and it’s got a little brother, the Galaxy Tab 8.9.
The new Galaxy Tabs both run Android 3,0 (Honeycomb), sport front and rear facing cameras, a micro SD card slot and an HD display. They both feature a 1GHz dual-core processor, gyroscope and accelerometer, Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth. On top of that, Samsung claims they are “the world’s thinnest mobile tablets” both coming in at a measly 8.6mm thick and thinner than the iPad 2.
Both models will also come with Samsung’s TouchWiz UX, a new user interface laid on top of the Android 3.0 operating system “offering superior multi-tasking and enhanced user interaction and navigation.” That’s not the only feature Samsung added to Honeycomb, both devices will feature their Reader’s Hub and Music Hub, offering users tons of music, books and magazines via download. Social networking diehards will have the Social Hub at their disposal, “which will aggregate email, instant messaging, contacts, calendar and social network connections into a single interface.”
What’s really exciting about the reveal is the competitive pricing Samsung announced. Apple revealed their iPad 2 with the same pricing model as the original and Samsung is right on their heels. The 16GB 10.1″ model will hit shelves for $499! That’s the same price you’ll pay for a Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad 2! The 16GB 8.9″ model takes it a step further coming in at $469! Not bad Samsung, it looks like you’ve got some real contenders here. There will also be 32GB models available at launch for $599 and $569 respectively.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 will officially hit shelves on June 8th. Unfortunately, Samsung wasn’t as specific about the release date of the 8.9″ model, only saying the smaller version would be available “early this summer.” That’s pretty vague but, early this summer could very well mean June, right? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
In a press release yesterday, The Carphone Warehouse announced that it had sold one million Android handsets in Europe with a year-on-year growth of 2000%. The Carphone Warehouse has been a strong supporter of Android with exclusive arrangements on handsets such as the Samsung’s Nexus S and a similar deal on the forthcoming Motorola Xoom tablet.
CPW also has by far the best range of Android handsets on the High Street with HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG all featuring in its stores. CPW sells the iPhone too, so it’s a fairly level playing field for customers when it comes to choosing a handset.
“The speed with which Android has stormed the market is phenomenal,” said a Carphone Warehouse spokesperson. “Year on year growth is well over 2000%. It’s no surprise that Android smartphones have become the smartphone of choice for so many of our customers. Hitting one million Android sales in Europe is great as it proves that our dedication to offering an extensive range and securing top exclusives has really benefited not just us, but our customers too.”
The growth of Android is astonishing, especially as I don’t think it really has any cult appeal, compared to a certain other smartphone. It would be very interesting to see how many of the purchasers went into the store to buy an Android phone or did they go in to buy a smartphone? Maybe they just went in to get a phone.
The smartphone market seems to be very much a two horse race at the moment between iOS and Android. Can Microsoft and Nokia catch up to the leaders and will HP’s WebOS make it to the post? Interesting times ahead.
Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunication’s practice have given a sneak peak of their global predictions for 2011.
First up, over 25% of all tablets bought in 2011 will be purchased by businesses, with retail, healthcare and manufacturing purchasing over 10 million. Initially, the use of tablets in business will be by people who have brought their own device into work but by the end of the year, businesses will be buying for employees.
Secondly, less than 50% of all “computing devices” sold in 2011 will be traditional PCs and laptops. Peter O’Donoghue, head of Deloitte’s technology industry practice, adds: “In 2011, more than 50% of computing devices sold globally will be smartphones, tablets and non-PC netbooks. 2011 will mark the tipping point as the growth of applications for non-PC items outstrips traditional software sales and consumers embrace a wider variety of devices.”
When you consider that PC sales will hit 400 million in 2011, you suddenly realise how big the non-PC market has become, that it’s grown from almost nothing in only a few years and that the growth is likely to continue at the expense of the PC market.
Finally, Deloitte is of the opinion that no single OS will dominate the smartphone or tablet market. The top 5 operating system developers have plenty of cash to keep the OS wars going through 2011. The top 5 aren’t named but I’d guess that it’s Google, Apple, RIM, Nokia and Microsoft. Deloitte points out that this fragmentation causes problems and additional cost for application developers, media companies and IT departments.
The full report will be released on Wednesday 19th January.
For a couple of months now there has been some buzz surrounding the upcoming Blackberry tablet known as the Playbook. Is it for real or just a lot of hype over nothing, like some of the recent phones from RIM? This CES provided a hands-on which finally gave people a chance to find out.
This relatively small 5×7 device has created a rather large hubbub in recent times and since I haven’t had the chance to play with one I decided to see what the lucky few have had the chance had to say about it.
Frankly I have been a bit surprised. I expected a bit of a downer, given the recent spate of bad luck RIM has had with new products. But I have seen the gaming, multimedia, and video conferencing capabilities called “sexy”. It has been deemed a “flash loving” device, which immediately separates it from the Apple iPad. In short, I have not found any real negatives in any of the major reviews I have read.
Of course, with or without Flash, it still has an uphill battle to compete with the iPad. We have also seen a proliferation of Android and Windows 7 tablets at CES, which also pose a direct threat to the Playbook. While Windows 7 has been widely maligned as a tablet OS the ones I have seen in the past few days may change that sentiment.
We don’t have an exact release date for the Playbook yet, but it doesn’t appear to be too far off. If they can get to market in a timely manner and beat a lot of the other tablets that debuted this past week then they have a shot to at least find a spot in the market, if not take a decent portion of it.