Friday, July 6, 2012 - 11:20am
New devices rumored to be coming soon from Amazon and Apple may aim to put smartphones and tablets in the hands of new consumers, like those who have so far stuck with "dumbphones." That means more people potentially accessing apps and streaming web radio.
Amazon is rumored to be building its own smartphone. Not so far-fetched, considering it already offers the Kindle Fire -- an Android tablet device (RAIN coverage here).
GigaOM predicts the goal of a smartphone from Amazon "would be to go after the 50% of people who don't have a smartphone." Indeed, "a survey earlier this year found that consumers were more interested in a phone from Amazon than they were in one from Facebook," points out All Things Digital (here).
"If Amazon can give consumers a dirt cheap but very capable smartphone, it could attract a number of users at launch and set it up for better success as it puts out more capable phones down the road," comments GigaOM (here).
Meanwhile, a myriad of publications report that Apple will soon launch a smaller (7" screen), cheaper (around $200) iPad. Such a move would not only hurt competitors like Google -- which unveiled its own relatively small tablet recent, more here -- but also get more consumers using tablets.
"As you drop the price point and size, you are opening up consumers you weren't addressing before," said Brian White, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets. "Having something you can hold in one hand seems to matter to some people and may matter in emerging markets," said Frank Gillett, a Forrester Research analyst.
In June, a study found that around a third of U.S. Internet users owned a tablet (more here). A recent Gartner survey found that 40% of mobile users listen to music on their devices (more here).