CEO Jeff Bezos didn’t spill the beans on any of the company’s reported plans to develop its own Android-based tablets during Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting this morning. But one of his comments, in response to a shareholder question about the future of technology, helped explain why the company would have such a deep interest in tablets.

“Most of our customers shop with us from desktop or laptop computers, but people have a different posture with tablets,” he said. They “lean back on their sofa. People leaning back on their sofa, buying things from Amazon, is another tailwind for our business, so I’m very excited about that.”

So question becomes: What could Amazon accomplish with a tablet that other companies haven’t? There again, it’s possible to read the tea leaves from one of Bezos comments, starting with his statement that the experience of browsing on mobile devices continues to be “a marginal experience in many cases.” He continued …

If you have good WiFi connection, and a very good smartphone or tablet, it’s now getting to be a good situation. But with the average phone that people have and the average cellular connection that people have, the mobile browsing experience is still a pretty marginal one. That is going to change. Pervasive wireless bandwidth is going to continue to increase and the form factors of the phones, the displays, the battery life. Smartphones are going to get smarter, they’re going to get better. They’re going to be unbelievably good at web browsing, and that is a huge tailwind for Amazon in our retail business. And so we’re very excited about that. I feel the same way about tablets.

We’ll exercise some restraint and avoid speculating on the possibility of an Amazon phone.

Here’s the interesting part: An Amazon tablet might have seemed like an extension of its Kindle product line. But assuming the company is actually developing a tablet, the project is now looking more like a bridge between the Kindle and the company’s traditional e-commerce business.

Previously on GeekWire: Jeff Bezos on innovation: Amazon ‘willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time’

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline


  • Tmbull

    I guess I read his statement differently. To me he’s saying better tools will make it more convenient for consumers to purchase goods from amazon which makes a great deal of sense.  No where does it jump out that amazon will produce a tablet or phone.  Did I miss something?

    • Anonymous

      Correct. As I noted at the beginning, Bezos didn’t say Amazon is coming out with its own tablet. 

      However, I’m working from the assumption that Amazon is coming out with its own tablet. There have been too many reports over the past few months from different sources for there to be nothing going on. 

      So his comments on tablets help explain why Amazon has such a deep interest in them and shed light on why it would want to come out with its own.

Job Listings on GeekWork