Talk of a new, forthcoming tablet from Amazon that reportedly runs on the company's own version of Google's Android operating system, is heating up the Internet these days -- as the product as seen by many industry observers and consumers as the first bona fide competitor to Apple's tablet-leading iPad.
In preparation of Amazon's Kindle tablet release, here are five things to know:
1) Amazon's first tablet will likely have a 7-inch back lit, multi-color touchscreen. It will reportedly be released in October, in time for holiday sales. The new tablet will run on a specilized, alterted version of Google's Android operating system, and apps will be ready at waiting at Amazon's Android App Store.
2) Amazon will likely release a 10.1-inch version tablet will be in the first quarter of 2012, following up its 7-inch tablet with a bigger, more expensive version.
3) Amazon's first tablet, the 7-inch model will be sold as a loss leader in terms of hardware costs, so the company can launch as an immediate competitor to Apple's iPad and avoid the fate of the doomed HP TouchPad. That means get ready consumers, a new tablet deal is just around the corner. Industry analysts say Amazon's first tablet will be priced below $300, with a likely entry pricepoint of $250.
4) Amazon is currently testing out a redesign of the company's popular website in order to make it more tablet-friendly. The changes, currently in testing phase, are expected to make Amazon's site easier to navigate on a tablet computer.
The changes will soon be available to all Amazon.com shoppers, who will see a redesigned home page without clutter and a lot of white space. The search bar is bigger and consumers will see fewer buttons, and enhanced focus on Amazon's digital products, incuding ebooks, games and other applications including Amazon's Android App Store.
Techcrunch blogger Sarah Perez, who says she's seen a prototype of Amazon's forthcoming tablet, expected to become the biggest challenge yet to Apple's tablet-leading iPad, said the changes in Amazon's store practically scream 'tablet-optimized.
5) Amazon has lots of content to sell buyers of its new tablet -- more than apps at its Android store. The tablet will be optimized for Kindle ebooks, and ready for point-and-click enhanced shopping experiences at Amazon.com, which also includes downloadable and streaming movies.
The company's primary ambition: signing up new customers for Amazon Prime, its membership services. Think Netflix, iTunes, Apple's App Store and Wal-Mart (online, of course) combined into one provider for the lowest prices, since that's where Amazon wants to get big, fast.