Amazon Tablet: Target Apple or target Google
It's no secret that an Amazon tablet is to be launched later this year. With the success of the Kindle and the support of a unique customer base, Amazon is probably the only company capable of offering real competition to Apple in the immediate future.
The Android-based 9-in tablet will benefit from Amazon's existing app store and will give users immediate access to the traditional Amazon market place of books, electronic equipment and general merchandise. There is bound to be some cannibalisation of Kindle sales, but the move to a tablet is both logical and welcome.
Some commentators see the new Amazon device as a major competitor for Apple, as outlined in this AppleInsider post. MG Siegler, writing on TechCrunch, takes the opposing view: Amazon's tablet is no threat to Apple, it's a huge threat to Google.
It will be an interesting tussle. Apple starts with two major advantages: The iPad is regarded as the one to beat and enjoys a first-class reputation for reliability and after-sales service. But probably of more importance, Apple has an unrivalled distribution network. As the fastest-growing retailer in the USA, Apple is no soft target.