Confused? Well, consumers might be as well. But there's a reason
for all the tumult in tablets: They are a sure thing in an
otherwise uncertain market. According to the Consumer Electronics
Association, tablets are expected to reach $29.1 billion in
shipment revenue this year, $10.8 billion more than forecasted in
January, and representing a blistering 83% in year-over-year sales
growth. Unit sales are expected to reach 68.5 million in the
With that much at stake, analysts said giving Amazon retail
shelf space is tantamount to giving the competition an in. "It's
baffling to me that every retailer hasn't booted Amazon from their
store floors," said Sucharita Mulpuru, an analyst with Forrester
Research. "Behind closed doors [retailers say] Amazon is like a
locust in the field. It's this pest that 's destroying margins and
making everyone's life difficult."
For now, Best Buy, Staples, RadioShack and others will still
sell the Kindle devices. But as Ms. Mulpuru said, "You can bet
Walmart's decision is causing conversations to happen in
Minneapolis," Best Buy's headquarters.
Next month Toys "R" Us will start selling Tabeo, its own branded
tablet for children. It will join other brands, such as the Kurio,
Meep and Lexibook, the retailer added after last holiday's
exclusive deal expired. The plan, said Troy Peterson, VP-divisional
merchandise manager, is to create a "destination marketplace" for
kids' tablets. But for reasons neither party would divulge, the
destination will no longer include Nabi. That's a plum account lost
by the brand's manufacturer, Fuhu.
"With Walmart, Best Buy and GameStop behind the Nabi 2 ... we
believe it will fare very well this holiday season," said a Nabi
spokeswoman in an email.