Apple Needs to Gear Up for Tablet War Against Amazon: Forrester

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Amazon’s widely anticipated tablet release is expected to “completely disrupt the status quo,” according to a new report released by technology research firm Forrester, based on the retailer’s “willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets.”

Although Forrester’s report has been in the works for months, the firm held off from releasing it “out of respect for Steve Jobs, and we have great admiration for his inventions and influence on our culture,” according to a blog post by Sarah Rotman Epps.

Amazon’s tablet, widely expected to be released this September or October and to be cheaper than the iPad, will be the “only credible iPad competitor in the market” says Forrester, which predicts that Amazon will sell three to five million tablets in Q4 2011, if they are priced below $300.

However, one major factor to consider of course is that Amazon has not officially confirmed that it will actually release a tablet. But if Amazon does release a tablet, Rotman Epps predicts, “Apple will retain dominant market share, but Amazon will cause product strategists at ‘Apple to prepare for war.’”

Android OEMs will seek Amazon as a platform partner, she adds, and software, media, retail, banks, and others will scramble to build Android tablet apps.

“So far, product strategists across industries have invested in iPad apps but have held back from creating Android tablet apps: Apple claims 100,000 custom-built iPad apps, while Google’s Honeycomb platform has attracted fewer than 300 apps. If Amazon’s Android-based tablet sells in the millions, Android will suddenly appear much more attractive to developers who have taken a wait-and-see approach,” writes Rotman Epps.

The bottom line, she adds: “A year from now, ‘Amazon’ will be synonymous with ‘Android’ on tablets, a strong second to Apple’s iPad.”

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Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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