Report: Amazon to unveil tablet on Sept. 28

Amazon is expected to unveil its new Android-powered tablet on Wednesday, September 28, at an event in New York City.

Although the official invites did not mention a specific product, a number of journalists and analysts believe Amazon will use the venue to debut its eagerly anticipated tablet.

The device – which is slated to cost approximately $250 – boasts a 7-inch color touchscreen and runs a customized build of Google’s Android mobile operating system. 

While it remains unclear if Amazon’s tablet will be capable of taking on Apple’s iPad, analyst Sarah Rotman Epps of Forrester Research recently stated that the e-tailer could potentially sell 3-5 million units in Q4.

“Amazon taking on Apple is a bit like David taking on Goliath – [if you] compare the market cap, profits, and cash position of the two companies,” Epps opined in a recent analysis.

“[However], Amazon’s willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets makes it the only credible iPad competitor in the market.”

Epps also noted that Amazon’s quick ascension in the tablet market will “completely disrupt” the status quo. Although Apple is projected to retain dominant market share, Cupertino will likely prepare for war.

“Apple sells software and services, but the lion’s share of Apple’s revenue still comes from hardware, which makes it vulnerable to a company, such as Amazon, that isn’t seeking profit from hardware sales. Amazon and Apple’s relationship, already fraught with Apple’s policy changes on content sales, will become even more strained,” she said.

“[Remember], Android OEMs to seek Amazon as a platform partner. [As such], we see potential for Amazon not only to launch its own hardware as an ‘Amazon tablet’ but also to be a platform for other OEMs, layering [its] software and services over Android to provide a richer customer experience.”

Epps added that a range of “Amazon tablets” designed by various hardware manufacturers would likely be available within a year after the launch of the first device.

“A year from now, ‘Amazon’ will be synonymous with ‘Android’ on tablets, a strong second to Apple’s iPad… [And] if Amazon’s Android-based tablet sells in the millions, [the OS] will suddenly appear much more attractive to developers who have taken a wait-and-see approach.”