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Summary:

Watch out, Apple: The Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) tablet, widely expected to be released this September or October and to be cheaper than the iPad,…

Watch out, Apple: The Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) tablet, widely expected to be released this September or October and to be cheaper than the iPad, will be the “only credible iPad competitor in the market” and will “completely disrupt the status quo,” Forrester says today in a new report. Forrester analysts predict that Amazon will sell three to five million tablets in Q4 2011, if they are priced below $300. (Keep in mind, of course, that Amazon has not officially confirmed that it will release a tablet.)

Why is Forrester so bullish on Amazon? It’s the etailer’s “willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets,” Forrester analyst Sarah Rottman Epps writes.

Here are the company’s predictions, from the blog post previewing the report:

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) to 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.

Android OEMs to seek Amazon as a platform partner. 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 Amazon’s software and services over Android to provide a richer customer experience. In a year from now, we could see a range of “Amazon tablets” made by different hardware manufacturers.

Software, media, retail, banks, and others to scramble to build Android tablet apps. So far, product strategists across industries have invested in iPad apps but have held back from creating Android tablet apps: Apple claims 100,000 custom-built iPad apps, while Google’s Honeycomb platform has attracted fewer than 300 apps. If Amazon’s Android-based tablet sells in the millions, Android will suddenly appear much more attractive to developers who have taken a wait-and-see approach.

The bottom line, Forrester says, is that with a sub-$300 price point, an Amazon tablet would see massive sales and could be the tipping point for Android to become a full-fledged iOS competitor.

  1. One has to laugh at the intro to virtually every Apple product competitor.  It’s always the same spiel:  iPad killer, iPhone killer, ad nauseam.  Yet what company remains on top, having more capital than the U.S. government?  HP recently waved the white flag.  Amazon eventually will, as they take in money for their new product, purchased by those individuals who are simply expressing their hatred of Apple, and their wishful thinking that this tablet will be the elusive first nail in the iPad’s coffin.  Good luck.

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    1. I buy all of my books and music from Amazon. I own an iPhone. I have been thoroughly unimpressed by the iPad. Guess what: There’s MANY people like me. Enough said.

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    2. spoken like a true apple fanboy.  

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      1. You can always tell those of no credibility on either side.  They use any variation of “fanboi”.

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  2. I’m always amazed at how often a new comer to the iPad market is hailed as its ultimate competitor only to fail miserably… Wasn’t webOS hailed as the all-around, multi platform solution to cracking iOS’s hold on superior products?

    How’s the fire sale going HP?

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    1. And there are still the deluded who think that their personal boycott of the iPad will make a dent in their sales.

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      1. Stop it with the ‘boycott’ angle.  Many of us use Apple products yet don’t find the iPad as appealing as some of the Android tablets.  Not everyone who sees the iPad’s limitation hates Apple.  The iPad 2 is simply inferior in many ways to tablets like the Thrive and Transformer.  Now that the Tegra 3 Android tablets are coming out the iPad 2 will be even more inferior.  Apple has a lot of work to do on the iPad 3 if it wants to compete.

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        1. To be clear, I don’t own an iPad.  I have no need of a tablet of any make, but I wouldn’t be averse to buying a non-Apple brand either.  My comment was directed at pre-marketing hype, and unfounded labeling as “the killer”, before the product even hits the market or sales figures become meaningful.

          Granted, it’s not a bad financial situation for Apple to be in, namely the target of competition.  It fuels that competition and keeps prices down, or the feature list growing for the same asking price.

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    2. No, everyone knew WebOS would fail.  While the WebOS is a good OS, HP messes up with the pricing – $499.  That sealed its fate because it need mass acceptance in order to attract app developers. 

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  3. Your referenced number of Honeycomb apps is misleading.  I’m not sure where you got your number, but there are actually thousands of apps designed specifically to work well with the larger tablet screen.  Whether they are exclusively for Honeycomb or not is irrelevant.

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  4. Why is it that fans of Apple claim to love innovation but anytime there’s a competitor doing any innovation it’s immediately (even prior to release) labelled a failure?  The main thing the iPad has going for it is great marketing that leads to the less informed buying them en masse, which then leads to having the most app developers.  As a piece of hardware and capabilities the iPad 2 is not the best tablet on the market.

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  5. $500AShareIsAnnoying!}:-D Monday, August 29, 2011

    I’d like to know why Wall Street would give Amazon a hearty pat on the back for selling their tablet for a loss.  If Apple were to take a 2% loss of margin on the iPad, Wall Street would be trying to downgrade Apple.  Amazon has a lofty P/E of 90, so how the hell are they going to make all this revenue if they’re selling this Amazon tablet at a huge loss.  I don’t quite understand this bias in favor of Amazon.  Chances are no one will ever know how many Amazon tablets are sold because Amazon doesn’t even seem to disclose how many Kindles are being sold.

    I doubt that any analyst knows any solid facts about the Amazon tablet and yet they’re willing to say that it will offer competition to the iPad.  Based on what?  That Amazon tablet could be a piece of crap for all they know.  If it’s going to run Ice Cream Sandwich, there could be so many teething problems that non-tech consumers would hate using it.

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