A mockup of a seven-inch Amazon tablet running a forked Android version.
As Amazon gears up to debut its long-rumored tablet at a media event on Wednesday in New York (a subtle hint of a media-focused launch), TechCrunchchimes in with a name. The Android-driven device will be apparently marketed under the Kindle Fire moniker in order to distinguish it from the family of dedicated Kindle e-readers. Manufactured by Foxconn, Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer, the gizmo should boast a seven-inch color touchscreen (not true multi-touch) and won’t have an email client preloaded, but users will be able to download one from its mobile application store or use a built-in browser for web mail, wrote author MG Siegler who first saw the device early this month.
Meanwhile, AlllThingsD’s Peter Kafka writes the online retailer is cutting partnerships left and right with Hollywood studios and magazine publishers. Amazon has now added Fox shows to its streaming catalog, Kafka reported today, explaining the deal includes shows Fox no longer airs and old Fox movies such as “Office Space,” “Speed” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”. Also, at least three magazine publishers have thrown their weight behind Amazon’s tablet project: Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith. Kafka cites industry sources claiming all three publishers “have deals to sell digital versions of their titles on the new device”.
Those titles are allegedly optimized for Amazon’s seven-incher and terms are said to mirror the 70:30 revenue split offered by Apple’s iTunes content store. Even though its success is anything but given, conventional wisdom has it that the Amazon tablet should benefit from Amazon’s many cloud services and long-standing partnerships with content providers. What’s unique about Amazon…
…is that it carries both physical and digital-only goodies on its online store. This theoretically puts them in a position where they might be able to bundle, say, digital editions with subscriptions to printed magazines. Even if such bundles would require a permission from content owners (and they most certainly would), the fact that Amazon retails both tangibles and non-tangibles is their competitive advantage over any other would-be tablet player out there. Even just by tying the tablet tightly to their online services puts Amazon ahead of other Android tablet vendors lacking an end-to-end ecosystem. For example, Amazon recently added Kindle books to its $79 a year Prime subscription. It is all but certain that the tablet would tap an Amazon Prime subscription, exposing users to a huge library of digital content on the Amazon store. Amazon’s library now includes up to 11,000 movies and television shows available for streaming versus the 20,000 titles found on Netflix.