Sept. 30, 2010
After much speculation and anticipation, Amazon.com introduced the newest contender in the ongoing tablet war, the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire is a sleek 7 inch Android tablet that comes with the irresistible price tag of $199; Apple’siPad starts at $499. Amazon’s pricing, ecosystem, and brand recognition, makes the Kindle Fire a worthy opponent in the tablet war, but not an iPad killer.
Kindle Fire Features ($199)
- 7 inch color touchscreen
- Runs on Amazon’s customized Android OS (enabling Adobe Flash and Android apps)
- Access to Amazon’s Android Appstore
- Free streaming movies for Amazon Prime members (free for 30 days with the Kindle Fire, then $79 for the year)
- Dual-Core processor
- Amazon Silk – Amazon’s own cloud – accelerated browser
- Free cloud storage for all of your digital content (no need to store content on the Fire)
- Built in email app
- USB port
- WiFi Enabled
- Seamless access to Amazon products – the Kindle Store, Amazon Whispersync, Cloud Player, Appstore for Android, Audible, and the main Amazon.com site for any other shopping needs
Amazon is the only company that can rival Apple’s one stop shopping approach for content sales. Amazon and Apple both offer a multimedia shopping experience that link multiple services to one central account, making buying products on mobile devices easy for the consumer.
Not an iPad killer, more like an iPad clipper
The Kindle Fire will not be the Android powered iPad killer that the tablet community has been waiting for, but the Fire will clip some of Apple’s potential sales. Most people who want iPads are not going to change their minds and get an Amazon Fire instead. The iPad sets the standard for the tablet industry right now, and it has far more creation and production usability than the Kindle Fire. There are several groups of consumers that Apple may have been hoping to reach this holiday season that the Amazon Fire is going to clip from Apple’s stronghold.
Potential Apple customers clipped by the Amazon Fire
- People who were leery about the iPad’s $499 price tag, but want a tablet
- Those who were considering a second iPad for the rest of the family (the Kindle Fire may be a better and cheaper option for the little ones)
- Future iPod touch buyers (the Fire is cheaper and has a larger screen)
- Impulse shoppers ($200 dollars is equal to a night of fun in the city)
Amazon’s Kindle Fire has the potential to outsell the iPad because of its affordable pricing and mass appeal. What the Kindle Fire can’t do is replace the iPad. The iPad offers a camera, 3G connectivity, and an App Store that is leaps and bounds ahead of any company’s, including Amazon’s. This situation may be temporary. If Amazon wants to really compete with Apple, they need to put out a 10 inch tablet with 3G, a camera, and they need to continue to build on their Android Appstore. These tasks should not be too daunting for Amazon; they are the only tablet company that has resources to challenge Apple. Apple is safe for now, but they better be ready for the next generation of the Kindle Fire.