Since early 2010 Apple has been No.1 in a field of one. So far, no one has come close to the iPad, despite many announcements and several optimistic launches. There’s no doubt, though, that competition will come over the next six months as more manufacturers jump on the bandwagon. Many, I feel sure, will burn their fingers badly and will simply be unable to compete. But there is one company out there that just could mount a real challenge: Amazon.
Whatever the specification of Amazon’s strongly rumoured LCD tablet—it will almost certainly be an Android device—it is the marketing muscle of the internet retailer that should be Apple’s biggest worry. Like Apple, Amazon has an existing relationship based on trust and quality of service with hundreds of millions of customers. The well-respected company can give a new product the best possible shop window and there is little doubt that it would sell in quantity.
According to AppleInsider, Amazon is having difficulty extending the appeal of the Kindle e-ink reader outside the USA and western Europe. I believe that an iPad-style multi-function device would attract many more buyers and, even, would be seen as a welcome upgrade for many existing Kindle users.