Amazon.com Trialing Website Redesign Optimized for Tablet Access
Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) is testing a significant overhaul of its website that e-commerce experts say will improve the consumer experience across tablet devices like Apple's (NAS: AAPL) iPad -- or, perhaps, Amazon's own rival tablet release, rumored to roll out sometime this fall.
Amazon confirmed it began trialing the revamped website design last week. "We are continuing to roll out the new design to additional customers, but I can't speculate on when the new design will be live for everyone," an Amazon spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal, declining to answer additional questions about the site or the rationale behind its launch.
The Wall Street Journal reports the redesigned Amazon.com streamlines the existing site, eliminating much of the homepage clutter and eliminating a number of buttons in favor of more white space and a larger search box. In addition, the site emphasizes Amazon's digital media services, with a single row of buttons advertising only digital books, music, video and software in an effort to make it easier for tablet users to purchase and consume media content.
Amazon.com is widely expected to introduce its much-rumored tablet device sometime during the next few months, expanding the online retailer's digital content aspirations and further fueling its rivalry with Apple. Sources say the Amazon tablet will run Google's (NAS: GOOG) Android operating system.
TechCrunch recently reported Amazon will unveil a seven-inch, capacitive touchscreen device at the end of November, priced at $250 and arriving under the Kindle e-reader brand -- a more expensive, 10-inch version will follow sometime in early 2012.
Unlike Apple, which relies on content from its iTunes digital media storefront and App Store to boost sales of hardware like the iPhone and iPod touch, Amazon is looking to the tablet to boost consumer interest in premium digital media. In recent months Amazon has introduced its own Amazon Appstore for Android and Amazon Cloud Drive streaming media service in an effort to boost its stature in the Apple-dominated digital content space -- in May, the Amazon MP3 storefront dramatically undercut Apple's iTunes by selling Lady Gaga's new album Born This Way for 99 cents.
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