New York – Analysts expect Amazon
to unveil its first tablet on Wednesday and Apple to introduce its next iPhone
on Oct. 4.
Amazon scheduled a press
conference for Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET, and Apple has reportedly scheduled an
Oct. 4 event at its Cupertino, Calif., campus to launch the iPhone 5.
Amazon, which already dominates
the e-reader market in the U.S., is expected to launch a tablet with 7-inch
screen at $250, or less than the $499 opening price for an iPad 2 with 9.7-inch
screen. The expected price point and Amazon’s marketing clout could put a dent
in the iPad’s market share as well as force down the price points of other
suppliers’ competing tablets, such as Vizio’s recently introduced Android-OS tablet
at an everyday $289-$299 and the Android tablets of less well-known brands.
The Amazon tablet will likely
integrate tightly with Amazon’s own Android app store and with its music, video
and e-book download services.
The Amazon launch could also cut
into sales of the Barnes & Noble Nook Color eBook Tablet, which also offers
the ability to download Android apps and is currently retailing for $249 and up.
For its part, Apple will likely
launch 4G versions of the iPhone, analysts said, with Verizon’s version getting
4G LTE and AT&T’s version getting 4G HSPA+ and possibly 4G LTE to boot.
Sprint could get a 4G Mobile WiMAX version of the device.