Amazon, ereader, ipad, kindle, kindle fire, mobile commerce, tablet
When Apple changed the market with the iPad, it was only a matter of time before competitors tried to match it. Amazon, a company known for its excellent adaptation, though not for its ability to lead the market with cutting-edge products, now has issued its response and perhaps the best challenge to the iPad yet, in the form of the Kindle Fire.
The Fire offers a 7-inch display, or half the size of the iPad, at half the price ($199). It uses the Android operating system, which enables users to access Amazon’s vast content library. The Kindle Fire does not offer an embedded camera or microphone, nor does it provide 3G cellular connections, so it only works on Wi-Fi. However, running on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine, which represents Amazon’s version of the Android app store, the Fire gives users access to more than 10,000 games.
To date, 28.7 million iPads have been sold, and consumers are browsing the web more and more using such tablet devices. Online purchases on tablets has reached 20 percent of all mobile e-commerce sales. Furthermore, 40 percent of Amazon’s sales already are from books, music, and movies—that is, products that are perfectly matched to digital sales.
Thus the rationale behind the Kindle Fire was to provide what Amazon thinks are the best features, in a smaller device, that is adequate and can be sold for a non-premium price. Furthermore, though the iPad already has helped Apple gain more hold in the digital media space, through its Kindle app, Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all content sold in this channel. Amazon needed to build a tablet device so it could avoid paying to grant customers access to content that Amazon already owned.
The arrival of the Kindle Fire fits with the history of Amazon. It started as a giant online bookstore; it has adapted widely, quickly, and well to challenge electronics stores such as Best Buy, contribute to driving Borders bookstores out of business, and compete with discount department stores such as Walmart and Target. The Kindle Fire offers Amazon customers all the software they might need to access every product they could possibly want to buy.
1. Would you buy a Kindle Fire?
Brad Stone, “Amazon, The Company that Ate the World,” BusinessWeek, September 28, 2011.
Alex Ohnona said:
I think this article was very interesting.
I would definitely buy a Kindle Fire; it seems to provide very similar functionalities to the Ipad, and it is sold for much cheaper.
If I was older I would buy a kindle fire. The iPad has so much more in every category then the fire. Not only is it sleeker, but it has 3G capabilities. That is a huge deciding factor for any tech-savvy consumer. Also, what is stopping anyone from going to Amazon on their iPad? Why need a tablet to buy Amazon products?
Kelly Hoover said:
I think Apple is so well branded that consumers overlook the actual functions of the iPad and focus on the brand name. Apple products are huge status symbols, especially for our younger generation. I think Amazon will have a hard time targeting younger consumers because they look at any products besides Apple a downgrade.Personally, I would splurge and spend the extra money for the iPad over the Kindle Fire and this is mainly because of the name.
William Weimar said:
The difference in price makes up for some of the Kindle’s lack in capabilities with respect to the iPad, but if I were going to buy a tablet it would most likely be an iPad. The iPad is much more technologically advanced than the Kindle Fire, and, as Kelly said, the Apple brand is very respected in the industry. It is going to be difficult for the Amazon Kindle to take market share from the iPad due in large part because of Apple’s incredible brand management and recognition.
Christina Soras said:
Before reading this article, I had little knowledge of other tablets similar to Apple’s iPad. It is very interesting to see how other companies are starting to slowly come out with devices that will be used to compete with Apple. Apple has been the leader in the tablet generation; always coming out with newer innovative and sleek products. Although I believe Amazon’s Kindle Fire is underrated, Apple still overpowers the competition with its iPad. The price difference may take some customers from Apple, but the iPad has far more capabilities; proving the device is worth the price.
Jack Grover said:
I think the Apple tablet is geared not so much as an e-reader but a tablet. For me as a consumer, I feel that the purchase of an apple tablet is just purchasing a more portable computer without a keyboard. I could not justify paying the price for the machine, knowing that most of its tasks are easily replicated by a computer.
I would purchase the fire because i view it as an actual e reader and not a tablet computer. i want the tablet as an enhanced reading device for newspapers, magazines and books. I would much rather buy a kindle and put the extra $600 that I saved from not buying an Ipad and use it to just have a higher end computer.
I think amazon has positioned itself in more of an ereader type space, whereas apple is a tablet computer. I see kindle users as readers and newsfollowers. Whereas I see Apple i-pad users as just people playing games, surfing the internet, or using facebook.
Basically I would say my own perception is intellectual device vs. fun device.
Brian deLeon said:
Having had a very positive experience from past Apple Products, I would spend some extra money and buy the iPad. While the Kindle Fire has the potential to attract many customers due to its large game selection and cheaper price, I believe apples is to strong of a brand, and iPAD too strong of a product, for the Kindle FIre to have a major effect on its sales.
Andrea Murray said:
When you think of apple the terms innovation, trendy, colorful, cool designs, best brand. These positive aspects gives apple a high brand image, which is the reason why the trend these days is for people to buy apple’s products (regardless of price) over their competitors. When I think of apple’s target market, I feel like their various products allow them to have multiple market segments, which is the reason they have a broad target market. Ranging from children an iPods/iPads to adults with iPhones, laptops. When I view the Kindle, I think of a much older target market, mainly because I only know of my dad who actually has one. I would prefer the iPad over the Kindle because I believe that the iPad’s innovative design will allow me to be more attractive to its quality and value.
Sara Wojda said:
I think this topic is pretty interesting considering the fact that I purchased a Kindle for my dad for Christmas just yesterday. When choosing which Kindle to buy (Kindle, Kindle Touch, or Kindle Fire), my mother had an interesting standpoint. The Kindle in of itself is a paperless reading source. Besides that, the iPad has all of the other features and beyond. So one question is, should consumers stick to the basics and only purchase the book reader (basic Kindle) or spend $120 more to get something comparable to an iPad? In this case, I think the way to go is “go big or go home.” If you want the basics of a paperless library, go for the regular Kindle. If you want the product with all the bells and whistles, go for the iPad. From this standpoint (my mother’s), it makes me wonder why the Kindle Fire has come to be a threatening substitute for the iPad. Perhaps the lower cost, but in our family, the simple Kindle will do.
Susanna Kroll said:
I do not think that I would buy the Amazon Kindle because it has still not quite matched up to the full functionality and specs that I would like in a tablet. The iPad, on the other hand, is very expensive which makes the Kindle appear much more appealing to me. However, I think that Amazon’s pricing structure of the Kindle is very interesting because it is so cheap. They are trying to get you to buy the Kindle so that you will then go and buy e-books, music, apps, games and more to store on their Amazon Cloud. I think that the next Kindle should have a bit of a larger display and any technology flaws in the Kindle Fire should be worked out. They could sell the Kindle at a slightly higher price one they gain some marketshare and they could focus on really competing with Apple’s iPad.