On Sept. 28, Amazon finally announced its long-awaited tablet, the Kindle Fire. The device, which is scheduled to launch in November, comes with Android and a 7-inch display. It also works with Amazon’s growing suite of data and content services, including its cloud storage service, Amazon Instant Video service and the Kindle ebook store. Perhaps most importantly,the device is available for preorder for just $199, making it one of the most attractively priced devices on the market.
After the Kindle Fire was announced, the attention immediately turned to its prospects as an “iPad Killer.” Some say the device could take down Apple’s tablet, while others say it won’t. But that doesn’t matter. The fact is, Amazon’s and Apple’s devices can happily coexist in the tablet space, and they both can bring something unique to the market.
With the Kindle Fire, “uniqueness” is the name of the game. In several ways, Amazon’s tablet delivers a host of important ideas to the marketplace that can help other tablet vendors learn a thing or two about success.
Read on to learn more about the Kindle Fire’s contributions to the tablet space:
1. Low pricing matters
Amazon is pricing its Kindle Fire at $199. And by doing so, the company is making it abundantly clear thatpricing really matters in the marketplace. After all, the Kindle Fire lacks 3G connectivity, ample storage (it has just 8GB) and a camera, but at $199, people are still excited about it. That’s quite an achievement.
2. Service integration is integral
The nice thing about the Kindle Fire is that it allows users to access a host of Amazon’s services, including its cloud offering, Amazon Instant movie and TV shows, and the Kindle ebook store. That’s an important aspect of the value of Amazon’s tablet. As Apple has shown, integrating key services, like iTunes and the App Store, improves the value proposition of a device. Amazon has upped the ante with its tablet by delivering many more services to users.
3. Android can catch on in the tablet market
There is widespread belief that Android won’t work in the tablet space, sincenone of the Android-based slates on store shelves now has caught on. But with the Kindle Fire, the device might just prove Android can work in the tablet space. There’s no guarantee, of course, but the Kindle Fire looks like it has what it takes to make it the most sought-after Android tablet on the market.
4. Entertainment is key
If nothing else, Amazon has proved that entertainment matters in the tablet space. The company will allow Kindle Fire owners to stream movies and television shows from Amazon Instant, and access the firm’s on-demand content as well. What’s more, the device can be a Kindle replacement, thanks to its support for the millions of books available in Amazon’s ebook marketplace. Tablets are for entertainment, and Amazon is showing that to the entire consumer market.
Amazons Retail Power Provides Decisive Advantage
5. Bringing the kids into the fold is a worthwhile venture
One of the interesting things about Amazon’s Kindle Fire sales pitch is thatit’s bringing children into the fold. Many of the tablets on store shelves now appear to be geared toward adults, or at the very youngest, teenagers. But a few of Amazon’s press photos include images of the Kindle Fire being used by children. Even the device’s product page shows kids easily wielding the small tablet. It’s an interesting move that could become the next big sales pitch in the tablet market.
6. All the bells and whistles aren’t always necessary
As noted, the Kindle Fire doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles folks will find in models like the iPad 2. The Kindle Fire doesn’t have 3G, it lacks Bluetooth and has no camera. Plus, its 7-inch display is notably smaller than the iPad 2’s 9.7-inch screen and the Galaxy Tab’s 10.1-inch display. But that’s OK. Excitement over the Kindle Fire is palpable even though it doesn’t have all those desired features. Let that be a lesson to all future tablet vendors.
7. Having that retail component is a decisive factor
If the Kindle Fire sells well, its success might be mainly attributed to Amazon.com. Unlike so many other products on store shelves today, the Kindle Fire will be in a prominent position on a top e-retail site for the foreseeable future. Samsung, Vizio and countless other Android vendors don’t have that luxury. Whether or not Apple has a comparable similar platform with its wildly popular online retail store is up for debate. Amazon’s ownership of the top e-retail site in the United States might come in handy, and it should be something other vendors think about in the coming years.
8. There’s no rush to enter the market
When the iPad first launched last year, there was some speculation that any company that didn’t offer up a device sooner rather than later would be cornered out of the market. The fact that Microsoft has yet to make its presence felt in the tablet space has also helped bolster that idea. But Amazon’s Kindle Fire is launching nearly two years after the first iPad. And consumer interest is at a tipping point right now. It seems that waiting to release a tablet isn’t such a bad idea after all.
9. Being a big name matters
If Apple and Google have anything in common in the mobile space, it’s that their branding has helped improve the sales of their products. People know and trust Apple and Google, and thus they jump at the chance to use those companies’ respective products. Amazon has now joined that group. The company is the most respected online retailer for a reason. And consumers, pleased with its site, are happy to buy its products as well. Amazon has also gained an advantage by preparing consumers to accept the idea of Amazon selling a tablet with its earlier Kindle e-reader models. But overall, being a big name matters in today’s mobile market. And the Kindle Fire’s apparent instant popularity only further proves that.
10. Beating Apple isn’t a prerequisite for success
As soon as the Kindle Fire was announced, there were questions being raised over whether or not the device was an “iPad Killer.” But most who have followed the tablet market know that it isn’t. The Kindle Fire and the iPad are two totally different devices, and a comparison between the products isn’t fair. So, the Kindle Fire’s expected success indicates quite clearly that beating Apple doesn’t mean all that much. Sure, it’s nice to have the most successful tablet. But being the best-in-class in one area of the tablet space is just as beneficial. Success can no longer be viewed byhow well a particular device takes on the iPad.