Today Amazon announced that they are releasing the Kindle Fire on November 15. Many have asked me why I would want to get a Kindle Fire when I can get or have an iPad. If you ALREADY have an iPad it is a bit more difficult of an argument. However, if you do not have an iPad, and really want a tablet device where you can read books, watch video, listen to music, and browse the web, yet are scared away by the cost of entry for an iPad….well here is you chance to dive in.
iPad price: $500
Kindle Fire price: $200
Where Amazon is going with the Kindle Fire is an outlet for their content. You have Amazon Cloud Player for Music where you get unlimited storage, you have Amazon Instant Video (which is on it’s way to being a strong competitor to Netflix), you have Kindle books as an e-reader. Plus, for the last year+ Amazon has been building an Android Appstore that is a strong competitor to Google’s own Appstore. The apps from the Amazon Appstore are supposed to work out of the chute.
The size complaints are only temporary. The 7″ Kindle Fire being released in November is pretty much identical to the Blackberry Playbook. Manufactured and designed by the same third party. In the past Amazon has used their own in-house design team for Kindle. Yet, they really wanted to get something to market before the holidays this year and would not have been able to with their in-house design team. The plan is that we will see a 10″ Kindle Fire, designed by the in-house Kindle design team, this spring to truly rival the iPad, and still for a lower price.
One of the advantages that Amazon is betting on is their “Prime Members” who pay $79/year for free 2-day shipping. They also get free Prime Instant Video, very much like Netflix. It is not their entire video catalog, but about $25% and growing rapidly. Just Monday Amazon announced they were adding Fox titles to the Prime Instant Video Catalog. And then there is the Unlimited storage of music in the Amazon Cloud Player.
So it is not so much the Kindle Fire being the big deal here, but rather a single device giving you easy access to Amazon’s broad content offering.