Sep 29 2011
The long rumored Amazon tablet, the Kindle Fire, has officially been introduced yesterday. While new Android-based tablets are introduced almost on a daily basis, the Kindle Fire is something special and the first tablet that could give Apple’s iPad a run for the money. Why? Because Amazon sells it for USD 199 and because Amazon has a huge ecosystem that fuels the device with content. Also, Amazon has gained the trust of its customers over the years and the company has the muscle to push this new gadget.
The business model behind the Kindle Fire is almost the same as the one that Apple uses, and Amazon offers a similar infrastructure and comparable cloud services for their tablet. This battle will be fought over price and customer trust. And since the Kindle Fire is sold at such a low price, a lot of iPad owners might even be tempted to buy a second tablet to gain the easiest access to Amazon’s services imaginable.
Let’s face it: Nobody uses Apple’s iBooks. Amazon owns the eBook market, and rightfully so as most eBook buyers will agree. Amazon’s eBook portfolio and services are second to none. And unlike in the Apple ecosystem, you can even easily return bought eBooks within the first few weeks after the purchase. Amazon officially does refunds, Apple doesn’t. For me as a customer, it’s a no-brainer whom I rather want to give my hard earned money for digital content.
Some people are already complaining that although the Kindle Fire runs a strongly customized version of Google’s Android operating system, no Google apps are installed on the Kindle Fire and Google’s Android market is not installed on the device either. I understand that this is a real problem for most other Android devices, it is not a problem for the Kindle Fire at all. I have already summed up the reasons for this above: Amazon is the only producer of Android-based devices that has a serious content ecosystem. They are not just another hardware manufacturer. For them, the Kindle Fire is only a means to end: It is supposed to make the access to all that content as easy as possible. That is their focus. And that is exactly why customers will love the Kindle Fire and why it undoubtedly will become a huge success.
I fully agree with Jeff Bezos: They WILL sell millions of these.
The only downside that I see is that once again, this device is first sold in the United States only and the rest of the world will have to wait. If they would ship it to Europe, I would have already pre-ordered one.