People curious about the forthcoming Amazon tablet, and more importantly, curious to see if it will actually have useful features, might have reason to check it out. At least if they’re into fashion, golf or travel magazines. According to, Amazon has reached an agreement to sell digital versions of Conde Nast, Hearst Publishing and Meredith magazines on their tablet. This largely continues an already fruitful relationship between the publishers and Amazon, and reportedly is similar to Apple’s 70/30 split of proceeds from iPad magazine sales. The elephant in the room is that Time Warner has yet to sign on with Amazon, though both parties suggest a deal is imminent by year’s end, ensuring a steady flow of bland news to a Time Magazine-hungry public.
Amazon already claims to be the world’s largest online retailer, with over 34 billion in sales in 2010. With that market advantage taken along with this publishing deal, the launch of their Android-based tab might represent the real competition for Apple’s iPad. Though the tablet, simply branded at the latest version of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, doesn’t compete technologically with iPad – a 7-inch screen, single core CPU and 6 gigs of internal storage is going to get sand kicked in its face – it comes in at a cheap $250.00. It also comes with a free subscription to Amazon Prime, and a built-in sales platform that actually rivals iTunes has the potential to offer tough competition, or at least keep Amazon in the game until their rumored bigger tablet drops some time next year.