Not too long ago a Forrester survey had predicted a tablet PC from Amazon might be the only one to match Apple’s amazing ability to build and sell tablet PCs (read iPad and iPad 2). That is showing sign of becoming a reality after all as the makers of the famous Kindle range of e-readers is now on a hiring spree targeting those who have previous experience with Google’s Android operating system. In all, Amazon is looking to recruit 5 developers which, according to the ad placed at the New York Times, will be involved in operations in a department known internally as “Lab 126.” Interestingly, this is the same department that is entrusted with the Kindles.
Of course, this alone cannot be held as evidence conclusive enough to start hooting for an Amazon tablet running Android but there sure are quite a few developments that does point to a possible greater role of the Android operating system in the Amazon camp. For instance Amazon’s Android App Store that is poised to go online soon. They didn’t just stop at that for they have even stroked a deal to ensure the availability of the immensely popular Angry Birds range of games.
All these are definitely pointing towards a gradual but steady beginning of Android playing a greater role in Amazon’s future scheme of things. Also, if this indeed becomes a reality then we might get to hear less of e-ink that till now used to be perhaps the biggest USP of the Kindles. The Kindle’s amazing battery life too would be taking a hit if the next Kindle we get to have comes with a LCD display with some form of Android behind it.
Another factor that might prop Amazon into readying an Android based tablet is the Nook Color that the rival camp Barnes & Noble have brought out. The Nook Color, though is being marketed as a color e-book reader can also be rooted to give rise to a tablet PC. Or rather, the Nook Color can be considered as an Android tablet in the guise of an e-reader though whatever its classification be, the fact that it is selling in good numbers can alone be justification enough for Amazon to peg a suitable device to tap into the segment.
Surely, all these are mere speculations and will be so in the absence of any hard core facts. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had previously gone on record claiming they have no plans to run for the top tablet crown. However, what seems to be a surely is that there is something definitely cooking in the Amazon camp and Android is one of the prime ingredients in that. This as we seem to be pushing towards an era where e-readers might be loosing their relevance while tablet PCs gain more prominence. Amazon is among the few manufacturers that can be considered to be the manufacturers of pure bred e-book reading devices and it would be interesting to see how a tablet (or a tablet like device a la Nook Color) comes in – whether as a Nook Color like device or more of an iPad competitor that can accomplish a lot of tasks include e-book reading.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email