First of all, let’s start this off by saying that the Kindle Fire is NOT an iPad killer.
Yeah, I know you’ve heard it, but let’s face it, there aren’t many things out there with the features and brand backing to dethrone the mighty Apple from the top of the tablet empire. Everyone wants to be the iPad, but it’s a daunting task, and has universally resulted in failure.
The Kindle Fire looks to attack from a different angle by appealing to a different consumer base, and it makes a great case to cause a huge ripple in the tablet market. At $199, the price is great, but selling the Fire at this price point would be useless if it offered the same thing that every other tablet offered. What sets the Kindle Fire apart from the rest of the tablet pack, is packaging it with the Amazon’s wide array of content and services.
This has the potential to put other tablet developers in a stranglehold. Ben Bajarin from techland.time.com says, “Other manufacturers of tablets will be forced to drop their prices to compete. The problem is that they are not tied to a robust services ecosystem, therefore the hardware is the only way they make money. Because of that, they will bleed cash and suffer significant losses.”
Amazon has over 100 million users, and they’re all familiar with what the company is bringing to the table. Bundling familiar software into an affordable tablet + having a huge, loyal customer base in place = good chance of success! All of their proprietary services are included, costing Amazon little more than hardware production.
The company is also offering ‘free 3G’ with some of their products including the Fire, which boasts ‘wireless anywhere’ functionality. With coverage in almost all of North America, Europe and even as far as Australia, does this mean that we will technically have free, high-speed internet anywhere we go? It seems too good to be true, but hey, we’ll have to wait and see.
This success will not hinge on the popularity of the device north of the US border, however, as Canadians will once again be left out in the cold. The majority of Amazon’s services (mp3 store, streaming services, etc.) are only available in the USA, meaning that as of this article, Canadians will only be able to download books using the Kindle Fire, and guess what? Canadians will only have a limited selection of Amazon’s titles to boot. There is currently no plan to introduce any of the other services into the Canadian market. Also, while the Kindle Fire is built on the open-source Android platform, we still have no idea if users will have access to the hundreds of thousands of apps on the Android Marketplace.
To our American readers, do the Kindle Fire’s features make you want to run out and buy one? And to our Canadian friends, how disappointed are you that we won’t be getting one any time soon? Let us know!