Amazon's Android Tablet to Cost Hundreds Less Than the iPad: Report

The highly anticipated tablet will emulate something from the HP TouchPad, according to a recent report. No, it won't use HP's webOS platform, instead opting for Google's Android, but it will sell for hundreds less than Apple's $499 entry-level iPad, according to a source, speaking to the New York Post.

It wasn't until the price of HP's TouchPad was dropped from $399 for 16GB (it began life at $499) to $99 that the webOS tablet became popular. Of course, HP only lowered the price to that extent because it had pulled the plug on webOS hardware development, not because it wanted to sell the tablet at that price.

In fact, HP was losing a lot of money on those tablets. A teardown analysis conducted last month by the research firm iSuppli showed that a 16GB TouchPad cost $306.65 to build, while the 32GB version cost $328.65.

That said, how can Amazon sell the devices for hundreds less than the iPad? Well, it's as-yet unknown how much "hundreds" equates to, but it's a safe assumption that it means $200 at a minimum. It's already known that is opting for two-finger multi-touch displays in their tablet, as opposed to the ten-finger displays on current tablets. That should lower the price enough for $299 to work for the giant Internet retailer.

As well, it's possible that Amazon is more interested in making money with "consumables." Just as with printers, where the real money is in paper, ink, and toner, Amazon may consider e-books and apps to be where it makes the money. opened up its own Android Market, the Amazon Appstore, earlier this year, but unlike the Android Market, users have to use the "sideload" capability most Android devices have to install a "non-Market" build.