So Amazon’s tablet is a go

Reports of Amazon’s tablet plans are trickling out. Basically, it’s going to be a 7-inch tablet running a very customized version of Android, tweaked to play media purchased from Amazon, and priced at $250, half the price of an entry-level Apple Ipad. (In English, we capitalize the first letter of proper nouns, and my native language is English, not C++, if you’re wondering.) Techcrunch and The Register have some of the details. The name: Amazon Kindle. The release date: end of November.

I wouldn’t call it a can’t-miss, but it’s clear Amazon’s thought a lot of things through here.

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Lessons of the HP Touchpad

At full price ($499 for the 16 GB model and $599 for the 32 GB model) the HP Touchpad was a colossal flop. Like AT&T’s first PC clones of the mid 1980s, it was a me-too product at a me-too price that wasn’t quite as good as the product it was imitating. So, basically, there was no reason to buy it.

At closeout prices, it became an Internet sensation. The few web sites that have it in stock can’t handle the traffic they’re getting. At $99 and $149, it’s selling like the Nintendo Wii in its glory days.

And I think there’s a significant parallel there that highlights the missed opportunity.
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