Now that ship has hit sail, and Jeff Bezos has created enough ripples in the tablet market with the Kindle Fire, let’s analyze how much it will live up to its “iPad competitor” profile.
In a nutshell, one shouldn’t get hopes too high in terms of an all-out verdict that the ultimate iPad sale-slayer has arrived. Rather, the Fire is a very strategically poised, simplified version of Apple’s flagship tablet that sells for $500 at start. The $199 price-tag of the Kindle Fire is what makes it a top prospect for buyers that have a smartphone and laptop, and look to fill in the last blank in their gadget portfolio, or a parent that might be looking for a way to fulfill the “tablet” look in their kid’s eyes.
A Tale of Two Tablets
For starters, the Kindle Fire has a 7-inch display as compared to the iPad’s 9.7-inches. That is a key factor contributing to the cost-control, since touchscreen is expensive technology. The 14.6 ounce weight, 50% lesser than the iPad, makes the Fire an interesting prospect for carrying around.
However, the intrinsic functionality is where the iPad really percolates its dominance. The iPad’s dual inclusion of WiFi & 3G overshadows the Fire’s WiFi-only orientation, its 16GB (up to 64GB) eclipses the Fire’s 8GB, the 1 GHz dual core outdoes the Fire’s dual core, and 10 hour battery time runs out the 7-8 hours of Amazon’s product. The Fire also doesn’t boast a camera, but then customers rather prefer a smartphone for pictures as opposed to a tablet. Albeit, the iPad does enabling conferencing, then, doesn’t it?
So one thing is clear, the Kindle Fire is definitely not a head-to-head competitor for the iPad. But it seems that Amazon might have learnt from HP’s experiment with the TouchPad. The moment HP slashed prices to $99 for the 16GB model, the thing just vanished off shelves. So, for a company that makes money primarily from the lower-end of consumer preferences, a content-specific approach, it isn’t a bad shot aimed at taking a slice off the market leader’s pie.