Analyst: Amazon Developing ‘KindlePad’

Analyst: Amazon Developing ‘KindlePad’Is Amazon planning to morph its Kindle e-reader into an all-purpose tablet PC and take on Apple? That’s the thinking of one analyst who views a Monday announcement with Microsoft as potentially the first signs of a ‘KindlePad.’

“Amazon is going to build a ‘KindlePad,'” MKM Partners analyst Tim Boyd told Barron’s Monday. Amazon will pay an undisclosed amount for a cross-licensing deal with Microsoft. The arrangement gives the online retailer access to the software giant’s intellectual property while Microsoft can use Amazon’s Linux-based servers. Amazon’s Kindle is specifically mentioned.

Amazon may have sold 3 million Kindles since the e-book reader was introduced, a recent report suggested. Although the company has been reticent about specific sales figures, CEO Jeff Bezos told analysts “millions” of consumers own Kindles.

Although most believe Amazon is working on a touch-screen color version of the Kindle with the ability to run apps, the announcement “suggests that Amazon may go even farther and build a device that approaches the tablet PC level,” Boyd wrote by e-mail.

Amazon has recently taken a beating at the hands of the yet-to-ship iPad. Earlier this month, Amazon reportedly began giving free Kindles to its ‘Amazon Prime’ customers in what was viewed as a way to level the playing field with Apple. In another dent to Amazon’s armor, an analyst recently predicted by 2015 the Seattle-based company’s hold on the e-book market could shrink to 35 percent from the current 90 percent.

[Via Barron’s]

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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