On the day that Amazon announced the Kindle Fire tablet, Molly Wood wrote a column for CNET declaring how the Fire will be an iPad killer because of its $199 price. Unlike the iPad, the Kindle Fire doesn’t have a camera, GPS or Bluetooth capability – nor does it have 3G. Asides from the lack of 3G, Molly argues that most people don’t use those other features on their tablet. You don’t need most of those features, if you own a smart phone. Even if the Kindle Fire only has half the functions of the iPad, the Fire still allows you to play games, surf the web, listen to music and watch movies, which is what most people use their tablets for. Why pay an extra $300 for the iPad or some other tablet similar in price?
I think that’s almost a fair assessment. I would argue that because you can’t use the Kindle Fire to Skype, take photos, or use it as a GPS, some people will automatically opt for a more expensive tablet – whether they actually plan to use those functions or not. Also worth considering is that sales of the iPad are significantly higher than that of any rival tablet. Without knowing whether the Kindle Fire’s app store will be open or restricted (i.e. Hulu, Netflix, Nook, New York Times etc.), how well the Kindle Fire’s silk browser reacts, or how responsive the touch screen is, it is way too early to declare it an iPad killer.
If the web browsing is not too fast and the touch screen is clunky, then all you got is a Nook Color that can stream movies, television shows and music (courtesy of the Amazon Prime subscription service). Who needs that?
I am curious if Apple will drop the price of their iPads before Christmas. I could argue both ways – doing so may sway some from the Kindle Fire and towards the better tablet. By dropping the price, however, Apple reveals they are nervous, while also admitting that the Kindle Fire is legitimate – something they have never done with any other rival tablet.
They haven’t had to. Will the Kindle Fire change that?