Amazon is developing a tablet computer scheduled to be released later this year, despite the clear control Apple has over the market. Amazon hopes two of its new ideas in education and video will give its tablet an edge over the iPad. In education, Amazon is planning to lease text books to college students at a cost below what they are spending in the university book store. In video, Amazon is developing a year-long subscription that will give users access to an extensive video library. For $79 annually, users will be able to watch a variety of visual media.
What’s the Big Idea?
While its electronic reader has been very successful, developing a tablet computer sets some difficult challenges before Amazon. Its reader, the Kindle, can be sold at cost because its only purpose is to buy more goods from Amazon. A tablet, however, would access information from all corners of the Web, not exclusively Amazon’s content. Still, Amazon would likely gear the tablet toward its own products, encouraging users to buy from its online shop. The tablet may be necessary for the company to lease electronic text books since many books require color graphics.