Amazon Kindle Fire: the iPad Killer? Not So Fast.By danseitz
The Kindle Fire is a shockingly good product for a shockingly good price. For $200, you get a screen with a higher resolution than the iPad, with a dual-core processor and an Android OS. In other words, it’s a Nook, only $50 cheaper, and it will likely be a hacker’s delight. But for all the buzz, it’s not going to be able to tackle the iPad in any meaningful way. Here’s two reasons why.
It’s More An “Amazon Instant Access” Device Than An Actual Computer
Based off of BlackBerry’s PlayBook, which didn’t do so well, the Kindle Fire is largely designed to be an ereader/media streamer first and a computer second. For example, it’s not going to have an email client right out of the gate, and there’s no word on whether the web browser will be fully-featured enough to be useful.
We get that there have to be some tradeoffs, especially at a budget price of $199. But it’s still a little disappointing, and odd, especially since Amazon obviously wants to shoulder in on Apple’s action.
It’s Got Some Big, Nasty Walls Around It
Something that’s going to cause real problems for the Kindle Fire is the fact that it is, first and foremost, designed to traffic Amazon content and only Amazon content.
For example, if you want to use Netflix on your Kindle Fire…well…have fun hacking the OS, because Amazon isn’t going to let a competitor to its Prime streaming service anywhere near its tablet. This is probably going to be a deal breaker for many shoppers, especially since the competing Nook can have a microSD card slipped into its port and turned into a fully functional tablet.
It’s an odd strategy coming from Amazon, which had embraced other platforms before: for example, you can get the Kindle software for Android and iOS. We’re not sure it’s going to help it woo away would-be iPad shoppers.
But, we’re also sure that it’ll be hacked to be a fully functional tablet within hours of release. We’ll keep you posted.