Let's not get too cocky, Cupertino.
It's certainly true that Apple's
However, things are about to get interesting.
Attack of the booksellers
I was invited to attend an Amazon.com
It's going to be a historic moment. There is little doubt about this being the introduction of Amazon's tablet.
"Stay tuned," was CEO Jeff Bezos' tease when asked about an Amazon-branded tablet five months ago. It will be a reality soon.
We also can't forget about Barnes & Noble
Turning the page
There are plenty of nondescript Android-fueled tablets selling for less than the iPad's $499 starting point, but the more prolific releases haven't been able to price their gadgetry for less.
Well, at least not initially.
We already saw how Hewlett-Packard's
Apple is selling more than two-thirds of the tablets in this country for a reason. When folks say that they want a tablet, what they're really saying is that they want an iPad 2. Despite Android's thriving smartphone presence and developer-friendly app marketplace, there's only one App Store.
HP and RIM tried to woo the gadget-hungry with differentiated operating systems, but that strategy turned out to be more of a liability than a marketing advantage. If readily available Android is struggling to make a dent against Apple's iOS, what kind of chance does webOS or QNX have?
However, let's not assume that price cuts will be the end of HP and RIM here. They can afford to subsidize the tablets at lower price points because they have already invested so much in the operating systems. We can't count either company out, until they truly bow out.
The next chapter for booksellers
It's not just HP and RIM that don't need to turn a profit on their tablets. Unlike most of the Android-peppered introductions over the past year and change, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have more than just the one-time sale of electronics to model in their pricing strategies.
Barnes & Noble knows that a more full-bodied Nook than its $249 Nook Color will translate into even more e-book and publication sales. We also can't forget that Barnes & Noble once owned GameStop
We don't even need to guess when it comes to Amazon's advantages here. Nobody wanted an e-reader until Amazon devoted prime front-page real estate on its leading e-tail site for Kindle promotion. Amazon has also spent the past few years building up its digital vault when it comes to books, videos, music, and games. Armed with a proven and bountiful server farm, Amazon's been ramping up its cloud-computing platform and digital lockers. It is in a sweet position to eat into the unrest at Netflix
Cheaper tablets? Differentiated offerings?
Check that swagger at the door, Cupertino.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for HP and Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.