Could a WebOS Kindle be the real iPad killer?

We're wary of the phrase "iPad Killer" around these parts, because many of the tablets so described haven't dented the iPad at all: they've been aimed at different markets, at different prices, with different kids of content. However, if rumours are correct and Amazon's sniffing around HP's WebOS, we might have to dig the term up after all.

WebOS is the operating system you'll find on HP's ill-fated TouchPad, and reviews have been unanimous: it's a wonderful tablet operating system that's easy to pick up and a joy to use, and it's easily the equal of Apple's iOS. Unfortunately on the Touchpad it didn't run too well, and HP is now offering it to interested parties.

Amazon has launched the Kindle Fire running a customised version of Google's Android, but rumours suggest it's interested in WebOS - and that it's building a more ambitious tablet that'll make the Kindle Fire look pretty basic. If that's true then we might be in iPad Killer territory after all: if WebOS is the equal of iOS, then Amazon's various media services are easily the equal of iTunes, iBooks and the App Store.

It'd be cheap, too: where Apple likes to keep its profit margins healthy, Amazon will happily sacrifice margins for volume - so you can expect any future Amazon tablets to be heavily subsidised. iPad-style hardware, running iPad-style software, with iPad-style media and app libraries, for iPad-style money? It might just work.

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