Kindle Fire: Tempting In An Imperfect World

Like King Gillette and the safety razor Amazon realizes the advantage a loss leader can sometimes bring.

The big news today in geekdom is Amazon’s announcement of the new Kindle Fire. It’s a seven inch tablet computer running on Google’s Android operating system. At the moment Apple is king of the tablet domain, but the Fire has a secret weapon. It costs $199!

The digital landscape is littered with iPad wannabes. Pretty much they’re all failures. Motorola, RIM (aka BlackBerry), HP — no one gets away unscathed.

Anyone who wants a tablet wants the iPad experience. Since Apple fully controls the hardware and software no one else gets a taste.

Amazon has done a few interesting things. Specifically they’ve moved some of the computing from the tablet back to their servers. What’s sent to your Fire will be specially formatted for it. It will be smaller bitewise, meaning it will be faster than the hardware implies.

What I still don’t understand is why there’s no camera or microphone. A tablet is the perfect comms device. Until you’ve videochatted you don’t understand the power unleashed. It’s my understanding this functionality costs around $1 additional at the OEM level. This is probably the deal breaker for me… but $199… we’re approaching stocking stuffer purchase.

There’s no way this thing’s being sold for a profit at $199.

Like King Gillette and the safety razor Amazon realizes the advantage a loss leader can sometimes bring. Every person who owns a Kindle Fire will have instant, easy, favored access to buy things through Amazon. That’s where they’ll make their money.

For the geekiest of you, a little about Kindle Fire’s Silk browser and how it leverages Amazon’s cloud computing expertise.

6 thoughts on “Kindle Fire: Tempting In An Imperfect World”

  1. I have a Kindle and like it for reading books, but wished it had more capabilities with graphics being a big wish! Perhaps I’ll put it on my list for this holiday season! I’m not a fan of Apple products and I’ll think I’ll research more on this – thanks for the review!

  2. I think you touched on one of the big problems with the lack of video camera although it does have a USB socket so you could plug one in, albeit not an integrated camera of which the Ipad has two. The other Issue for me is there is no SD card slot and no way to upgrade the 8gb capacity, although this is probably ample for most people (4000+ books or up to 20 movies) I could probably fill that in a few weeks. It is also WIFI reliant so there is no 3G option to connect to a phone carrier so other than WIFI hotspots your pretty limited to where you can browse the web. Amazon would also like you to connect to Amazon prime for $80 a year to get there content although you do get a 30 day free trial.

    It looks a great device for the price though, and for what I need a pad for it would be perfect just watching the occasional movie, reading a few ebooks ect. I expect the feedback from this will lead to a more integrated pad in the future. Amazon just have to be careful at the moment not to infringe on any Apple patents but of all the products trying to rival Apple’s Ipad this looks the most promising…

  3. I hated the nook and swapped for an iPad. Since then I’ve been an Apple groupie. The iPad is amazing. The Mac experience is unmatched. Still I wish I had Flash….

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