One analyst seems to think Amazon is poised to succeed where most others have failed: offering a successful alternative in the tablet world to the iPad.
In a blog post, Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps makes the case for Amazon.com saying the company has the right ingredients to make a run.
Rotman Epps said Amazon.com's tablet device could sell 3 million and 5 million units in the fourth quarter alone. This would give it more sales than all other tablets not named the iPad and be an impressive feat. While Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar said Apple will have likely sold 11 million iPads this past quarter alone, every other tablet has barely managed to sell one million tablets overall.
Even though Amazon taking on Apple is a bit like David taking on Goliath (compare the market cap, profits, and cash position of the two companies), Amazon's willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets makes it the only credible iPad competitor in the market, Rotman Epps said.
She says Amazon's success hinges on a sub-$300 price point. Recently, HP has had some success in the tablet industry with the success of its $99 Touchpad. Even after HP announced it was killing the device, it still sold out quickly when the price was slashed to just under $100.
While many analysts said this indicated a lower priced tablet could rival the iPad, others said it just confirmed how tough the iPad will be to beat in the market. Noah Elkin, mobile analyst at eMarketer, put it best regarding Apple's strength in the industry.
They've been able to build a beautiful device, sell it for a reasonable price and still make a strong margin -- probably 20% to 30%, Elkin said.
Amazon's tablet could be coming any day now. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, Amazon's tablet is being designed by an Asian manufacturer, it will have a 9-inch display and won't have a camera. It will reportedly use an Android operating system.
Amazon has famously had a lot of success in consumer devices with the Kindle, which has sold more units than any other e-reader available.