Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Speculation: The game any number can play

Late last week, TechCrunch's MG Siegler reported that he had not only gotten his eyes on a prototype of a new Amazon tablet, but his hands as well. He reported many details about the hardware and software, the price, when it will be announced, and even what kinds of promotions Amazon plans for it. Siegler's story triggered a flood of speculative articles, all primarily based on his description. For example:
I take Siegler at his word that he saw and used a prototype of an Amazon tablet, and that he spoke with a source with inside information about Amazon's plans. However, we have no independent verification that the tablet he used is representative of the final product, or that the pricing, availability and promotional details that he got are correct and won't change by the time the product finally ships. Nor do we have any independent verification of what he wrote about a second tablet, or about Amazon's plans for other black & white Kindles.

It's easy (and fun for the whole family) to base articles on a single, unconfirmed story, but they take as fact what is only rumor and hearsay. The problem with piling speculation on top of hearsay is obvious: If the hearsay is incorrect, the speculation based on it is even more incorrect, and the whole pile tumbles down like a badly-constucted Jenga tower.

We know what TechCrunch published. Let's get some independent confirmation of the facts before we start drawing conclusions or determining what the impact will be on the industry. If Siegler is correct, we don't have long to wait before we get confirmation from Amazon itself. There's plenty of time to determine the implications of Amazon's actions once we know the "true facts".

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