You must admit Amazon keeps amazing everyone. The store originally sold books. Then it added products from A to Z. It went further by creating its own product in the Kindle eReader. The eReader move has paid off as Amazon said its ebooks outsell books. Now, it took another step by with its own tablet to offer functionality beyond downloading and reading books.
Market research firm eDataSource reports that Amazon receives an average of 20,000 Kindle Fires pre-orders a day, with the first day racking up 95,000 orders. According to Cult of Android, which claims to have a source from Amazon, says the company gets 50,000 Fires pre-orders per day. By comparison, reports say that Apple iPad 2 orders hit about 1 million in the first weekend of sales. All that could change when the Fire comes out on November 15.
The current forecast for the Fire is 5 million units for the fourth quarter, but Forrester Research believes it may be closer to 3 million. In the second quarter of 2011, Apple has sold 9 million iPads 2.
With the cheapest iPad 2 going for $500 with 16 gigabytes and no 3G, the Kindle Fire offers an attractive price of $199. Other than price, does the Fire have anything on the iPad 2? Actually, yes.
1. Storage. Kindle Fire comes with 8 GB of internal storage plus free storage for Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. It won’t have a slot for a storage card as it expects customers to use the cloud. While the cheapest iPad has more internal storage at 16 GB, Amazon’s free cloud storage may be enough for consumers who already purchase ebooks and music from Amazon. Winner: Tie.
2. Size. The 9.7-inch iPad is harder to hold with one hand compared to the 7-inch Kindle Fire, which is one-inch larger than the easy to hold 6-inch Kindle reader. The Fire weighs 14.5 ounces while the iPad 2 weighs 21.1 ounces. Though lighter, the Fire is thicker than the iPad at 0.45 inches to 0.34 inches. The other side of the size argument is that the iPad’s larger screen offers more for watching videos, playing HD games and surfing the Web. Winner: Tie.
3. Photos and videos. The iPad can take pictures and videos with its built-in camera and microphone. The Fire won’t have this feature. Winner: iPad.
4. Content. While iTunes may be the number one source for music, Amazon is right behind and it’s the number one source for ebooks with over 1 million books to Apple’s 200,000. Amazon has over 100,000 movies and TV shows that Amazon Prime Members can stream for free at $79 per year. iPad users have to pay for every purchase of its 50,000+ TV shows and 10,000+ movies.
Apple has 100,000 apps specific to the iPad to Amazon’s 16,000 apps in its Android app store. However, you can download an MP3 from Amazon and load it on your iPod, Android Tablet and smartphone — all with different operating systems. iTunes only syncs MP3s with compatible devices Oh, and the Fire runs Flash. Winner: Toss up.
5. Network. iPad has priciers 3G versions available. Both have Wi-Fi. Winner: iPad.
6. Battery life. iPad claims to have ten hours of battery life to the Fire’s eight. Winner: iPad.
6. Price. No competition. And because of this, consumers are more willing to sacrifice a few extras to buy a Fire for less than half the price of the iPad. Winner: Fire.
The two tablets don’t compare, so it comes down to price, size, photo/video capabilities and mobile needs. The Fire won’t be useful for connecting to the Internet while on the move since Wi-Fi isn’t available everywhere. Despite the missing features, consumers desiring a portable media tool will have a good alternative in the Fire to the pricey, feature-rich and heavier iPad.
What’s your take on the tablet wars? Which do you have or would want to have?