At $299, is Amazon's 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD a threat to Apple's iPad?
Threat? Maybe. It's smaller but cheaper. Let's see what the iPad Mini costs. ;-)
With such an attractive price, I think Amazon's made a good argument for buying tablets that aren't named iPad, and I suspect they'll rope in new, price-conscious consumers who balked at spending $500 for a slate.
But from what I've heard, the Fire's UI leaves something to be desired, so I think people who take the time to try both out before they buy might think twice before springing for a Kindle.
It's fighting a two-front war: new iPad at $499, potential iPad mini at $200-250 range.
I think it has potential to do well if no other reason than it will be on the front page of Amazon for the next 12 months. It also may have a bit of an G4 Cube problem: sits right in the middle of not solving anyone's problems.
Yeah, I view it almost the opposite way: I think the iPad mini will threaten the Kindle Fire HD which Amazon thinks can threaten the iPad.
I hesitate to say that since I've seen neither the Kindle Fire HD nor the iPad mini, but that would be my guess on how this plays out. Amazon is smart to play up the services beyond the hardware, but Apple obviously has its own services to offer. And the app ecosystem is still hands down a massive advantage for Apple in the tablet space.
I think if Apple could do get the iPad mini to $199, it would effectively "kill" the Kindle Fire 7-inch (both $159 and $199). As far as the 8.9" device, $299 is a great price, but what about when Apple makes the retina iPad $399 in 6 months? Also, do they push the iPad 2 at $299 or does that get killed off?
Going to be an interesting 12 months.
I don't believe they are in direct competition. I don't even think the Kindle Fire is a true tablet PC. Amazon has positioned it as a vehicle to download Amazon's content and services... and not much else. It's proprietary Appstore is very weak compared to the other major players. It doesn't even come with Android's stock Google apps.
To be honest, I didn't think it was possible to be more closed than Apple. Amazon's proven me wrong.
I dont think so, the next iPad will come out early next year, and may probably start at a lower price point, say $399, just to mess with the competition. I am sure AMZN will sell a lot this holiday season, and lots of stocking will be stuffed with it. I still can't believe that they choose not to put a GPS chip even on the 4G LTE model.
I'm wondering if Apple would really launch an iPad Mini knowing that doing so could put them in the "copycat" arena. It's been years since they don't launch an all new product that is already in the market.
The iPod was a new category, as the iPhone and the iPad were. Even the new MacBook Air was the first crazy-thin laptop that created an "Ultrabook" fever between the manufacturers. All that is making Apple look like an industrial leader. Why would they risk that brand recognition?
Apple was tempted to make a 7-inch tablet, sure. But now the market has its own 7-inch offerings with really nice price points. I don't see Apple arriving late at the game and playing the copycat role. Specially now that Amazon rose the bar.
Agreed with Rene, this is revisionism. The iPod wasn't a new category. It was just better. Same with iPhone and iPad.
Also, the iPod Mini isn't rumored to be a 7-inch 16:9 tablet, it's rumored to be an 8-inch 4:3 tablet. Hardly the same at all.
Apple is all about waiting for the time to be right and then making their move. I think you misread this situation.
And now I'm going to agree with Jason. Amazon is basically offering a big iPod touch (there's very little tablet software available.) Apple will be offering a smaller iPad. That's a totally different value proposition.
(Android/Kindle could get tablet-class software, but they haven't successfully gotten any momentum in that direction to date.)
Agreed. I meant that those products were WAY better than their contemporary equivalents at first launch and because of that Apple would need a pretty good excuse to release an iPad mini (so they don't look like they are just following a trend).
That put aside, I like the iPod Touch analogy. Maybe the question is not that much about hardware or price points as it is about what the ecosystem offers: multimedia content vs tons of apps.
I was initially impressed with Amazon's LTE deal. It's an updated take on their 3G WhisperNet deal. $49.99 for a year sounds great! It's great until I start to think how quickly I'd blow through 250-megabytes. Especially given the feature push for new streaming deals and its position as a consumption device.
I suspect that the weight and thickness and screen size (almost 8") of the iPad Mini hardware will combine nicely with the price point (as Gruber has pointed out). When you add in the developer ecosystem and international distribution, it's a vet compelling picture.
The hardware will likely be the lede.
The Fire HD is still being focused as a consumption or companion device by Amazon while the iPad has become a replacement for the traditional PC and Apple will need to hit on that. Keeping with the car/truck analogy we hear so often; the traditional PC is a truck, the iPad is the car, and the Fire HD is the weekend vehicle you use for specific stuff. That works, ...right?
I don't see the Fire HD making a huge impact, especially if Apple beats it to market with a $199-$249 iPad mini.
I don't think the kindle with threaten Apple too much, not because it isn't a great device, but rather ironically because of content. Apple and Amazon are both amazing at negotiating with content owners, but they seem to focus on different things. Amazon focuses on getting the best prices, while Apple focuses on getting the best distribution. The fact is that Amazon has no presence outside the US and UK, while Apple is very much an international company. Amazon won't threaten Apple until they become an international company too. That won't be easy.
Great article by Chris Umiastowski on the matter:
I think Chris is reminding us that RIM, Palm and other big players underestimated the iPhone at the time and doing so turned out to be a bad thing. And that means Apple is not threatened by Amazon, but only if they take them seriously.
For example, he is dying to know how did Amazon managed to convince AT&T to support a $49 per year LTE plan. So do I.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch