Half-Baked Niche Hardware at Full Price

The Economist:

Overall, the difference between Apple and the rest is that, with the iPad (as with the iPod and iPhone before it), Apple invented a whole new product category—one that seamlessly integrates the company’s own hardware with its own means of delivering applications and content. All that tablet-makers like Acer, Asustek, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Research In Motion, Samsung and Toshiba did was to squeeze a netbook computer into a thinner case by dispensing with the cover, keyboard and hard-drive. That made them, at best, suppliers of niche hardware. And yet, such is the hubris, they expect customers to pay Apple prices for their half-baked offerings.

But the rumored 7-inch Amazon Kindle tablet with access to movies, music, games, books, and apps is expected to be hundreds less than the iPad. The price? US$250 according to MG Siegler. Called simply the Amazon Kindle, the 7-inch display sports a capacitive touch LCD with a two-touch limitation; the iPad can handle ten at a time. With a plan to offer the $79 Amazon Prime service for free, Amazon Kindle users get the Instant Video service for one year. The Amazon Kindle tablet is expected to be the first and only fully-baked Android-based tablet available, at a discounted price, in October.