The real story with this chart is not the impressive sales volume or year-over-year growth of iPhones but rather the triple digit growth projections for Android manufacturers Samsung, HTC, and LG. Sadly Motorola is not expected to benefit from the “all boats rise with the tide” adage that seems to apply to the other Android handset manufacturers. I wonder if Google made the right decision in moving to acquire them – they risk alienating the “big three” and pick up a luke-warm hardware business in the process (yes, yes … I know most people say the move was all about the patent portfolio).
According to MG Siegler at TechCrunch (who has apparently seen and played with) the new Kindle by Amazon is a very different device than prior versions and will very likely rock the Android tablet market to its foundation. Here are the quick-and-dirty details of the upcoming device:
- 7″ back-lit color touch screen (no e-ink)
- 6 GB of on-board storage
- Uses a highly customized version of Android
- Features the Amazon app market
- $250 price point (which will likely drop to $199 when a degree of market penetration is achieved)
Given the recent success of the $99 TouchPad fire sale that has caused HP to produce a swan song final run of the device, Amazon’s price point is certain to garner a lot of interest. In fact, industry analysts and journalists alike (including yours truly) are predicting a “race to the bottom” among other major Android tablet manufacturers (i.e., Samsung, HTC, Motorola, etc.) that will likely cause Amazon to capture a large slice of the market. The $250 price point is expected to be lower than the cost to produce the tablets but Amazon is expected to make up the difference (and then some) through purchases of books and applications.
Personally speaking, I am very curious about this device since I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the Kindle having first spurned it as yet-another single-purpose device (here and here) in a world driven by convergence. Once I spent more time with it I was impressed by its elegance in delivering that purpose – much like the early iPods. Only time will tell whether this will truly turn the Android tablet market on its ear or not but I am pretty confident that the product team on Beacon Hill knows what they’re doing.
- Amazon Kindle Tablet will have a 7-inch Screen and run a Custom Android (android-tablet.org)
- Amazon Kindle Tablet details revealed (techradar.com)
- Details About Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Surface: It’s All Amazon, Baby (androidpolice.com)
- Updated: Amazon Kindle tablet: what you need to know (techradar.com)
- The 7-Inch Amazon Kindle Tablet to Sell for $250 (blogworld.com)
While I think it will certainly help the prospects of Motorola Mobility’s Android-based hardware business which has largely lost out to competitors such as Samsung and HTC, the real prize are the more than 17,000 patents focused on mobile technologies that Motorola has in its arsenal.
- Moon shot: Google snaps up Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion (9to5mac.com)
- Google Buys Motorola’s Smartphone Business (news.sky.com)
- DealBook: Google to Buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 Billion (dealbook.nytimes.com)
- Google gets into Android hardware business, buys Motorola (gigaom.com)
- Google To Acquire Motorola Mobility (huffingtonpost.com)