I’ve been thinking a lot about the Kindle Fire and what it means to the tablet market. Much of the chatter I’ve been hearing has centered on it’s lack of a microphone, camera, and Bluetooth capability being a potential drag on sales. At $199, the Fire is priced very aggressively and perhaps does not even compete with the iPad in some respects. My mantra in 2010 when the iPad was announced was that we are likely to see the full spectrum of features and price points once manufacturers get their models on shelves. I didn’t count on the wave of iPad similarly priced but not similarly functioning tabs entering the market which has really strengthened Apple’s position. If the iPad was thought of as ultra premium before, it is now seen as a “you have to pay for quality” proposition for consumers. In the end, it seemed as if challengers to the iPad were being released in an effort to get something out as opposed to something good (there are a few exceptions in there). That said, its hard to sit on the sideline and develop while your competitor is dominating the share of mind of the decade’s most popular product.
Consumers are familiar with Amazon and they share the same maniacal commitment to quality and user experience as Apple. Millions of consumers have an Amazon account with micro-payments enabled. With this in mind, I’m pretty confident of the Fire’s success (mics and cams or not). At $199 many consumers will forego the “exceptional” experience provided by an iPad for one that is good enough and will allow them to finally own a tablet without going into much debt. Perhaps we will see Fires used in ways the iPad is not– in the home, with children, or as a component to CE devices. We’ll see how buyers use the 20,000 Fires per day that are being ordered.
For sure, the Fire will be good enough for many consumers and at $199 it will really be good enough.
- Image Courtesy of AndroidCentral.com