There is no doubt that a lot of really cool stuff can be done with the Playbook, Galaxy Tab or the iPad, but the reality is that for most consumers touchscreen tablets are nothing more than content delivery devices. They are e-readers, movie players, MP3 players, or digital magazines. And, of course, they must be able to play Angry Birds and access the Internet.
Enter the Amazon Kindle Fire. This is what it does and that’s pretty much all it does. Amazon is in the business of selling electronic books, magazines, music, movies, TV Shows, and Android applications. The Kindle Fire is a device designed to access all of those things, with unlimited free Amazon cloud storage. There isn’t a camera, or GPS, or even Bluetooth – just a fast dual-core processor, a wifi antenna, and a high quality 7 inch Gorilla Glass display.
But the best part of the Kindle Fire is the $199 price tag. Yes, you can buy two and half Kindle Fire’s for the price of one iPad! Think about it. You and your spouse can share one iPad or you can both have your own Kindle Fire and still have enough money left over for a nice steak dinner. Throw some kids in the mix and it gets really dramatic. A family of five can all have their own Kindle Fire for the price of two iPads – no more fighting over who gets to play Fruit Ninja on long car trips.
Pre-sales of the Kindle Fire have already exceeded the first day sales (in store and pre-sales) of the iPad. If people really like it once it’s in their hands, then Amazon may take a nice dent out of iPad sales this Christmas. If all these pre-sales are people expecting to get a mini-iPad, then I suspect there’s gonna be a lot of returns.
I like this entry to the field of tablets. Everyone else has been so busy trying to replicate the iPad, but Amazon really looked at what consumers want and I think they nailed it.