With all these rumors about a tablet-sized version of the Kindle, it’s nice to see that Amazon is also thinking about tablets. Monday they announced a special contest where you could win a tablet computer from Motorola (running the Android operating system). “In celebration of the many ways Amazon Prime members take advantage of FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, we’re giving away some popular Prime-eligible items from A to Z,” a promotional announcement explained.
“This week A is for Android…”
To enter the contest, point your web browser to Facebook.com/Amazon to enter (and then click on the Sweepstakes link). The form asks for your e-mail address, name, and phone number — but of course, there’s a small catch. “If you click ‘Allow”’in the Request for Permission window that appears after you click ‘Enter,’ you will be providing ongoing consent to the Amazon.com Sweepstakes/Contest application, which may offer other sweepstakes and contests in addition to this one,” Amazon explains on the page. It’s not as bad as it sounds, since “You may change this consent at any time through your Facebook privacy settings.”
And it turns out that Amazon isn’t going to contact me 26 times, to remind each week about its A to Z contest. (“Come back next week to enter again for your chance to win the next prize,” the sweepstakes page urges when you first enter the contest.) Instead the sweepstakes only goes for eight weeks, with eight different items being given away in alphabetical order. So I don’t mind the extra eight reminders, since apparently it means I could end up with a free Android tablet computer! And during the week of May 16th, the prize is even going to be a free Kindle!
The prizes get even better as the contest winds up in June, with a $797 digital Nikon camera (“P” for photography), and then an X-Box the next week (“V” for video games). And Amazon concludes their alphabetical contest with a “Z” item during the week of June 13th — a $1,000 Amazon gift certificate “for your choice of the ‘zillions’ of things you can find at Amazon.com.” But is this also another hint about Amazon’s plans for the Kindle? It’s not just that they’re trying to get people excited about an Android-powered tablet device. They’re trying even harder to excite people about Amazon’s $79-a-year “Prime” shipping service.
One rumor has it that Amazon plans to lower the price of the Amazon Kindle to anyone willing to pay the Prime program’s yearly fee. And now it looks like Amazon is putting some real muscle into promoting the program. Are they seeing this as a stepping stone to something even bigger? It’s got me wondering if Amazon is planning a big announcement in eight weeks, when their Prime-promoting contest finally ends.
Maybe they’re trying to attention to the Prime shipping program — right before they offer Prime subscribers a new, big discount on Kindles this summer.