Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Amazon.com adopting less expensive two-finger multi-touch screen for Android tablet

As Amazon.com's expected release of an Android tablet nears, news from upstream suppliers in Asia are that the company is going to look toward cheaper components to make the device less expensive. It's something other companies are also looking toward in an attempt to draw down the retail prices of entry-level mobile devices to $100 - 200.

Among the suggested lower cost solutions for the devices includes changes to the touchscreens. The iPad and Honeycomb-based tablets such as the LG G-Slate and the Motorola Xoom currently use a touchscreen that supports 10-finger multi-touch.

It's a downgrade, but most functions can still be supported. One of the devices mentioned specifically in the report is the Amazon.com Android tablet, which is expected, along with two new e-ink Kindle readers, sometime in the "fall."

Naturally, the report wasn't confirmed by Amazon.com. If true, it shows that Amazon.com has realized the importance of pricing, something that Android tablets have been criticized for.

Although the current Honeycomb tablets have matched the iPad when price and hardware specs are compared in an Apples-to-Apples (no pun intended) way, most folks were still (unfairly) comparing (for example) the Motorola Xoom with 32MB of storage and 3G (upgradeable for free to 4G LTE) against the wi-fi only iPad with 16GB of storage.

Looking at the price points, with the unsubsidized Xoom at $799 and the wi-fi only iPad at $499, it looks pretty bad. Looking at an iPad with the same sort of specs, 32GB of storage and 3G, the simialar iPad or iPad 2 would be $729.



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