The Kindle Fire was announced last week to great fanfare and unchallenged hyperbolic claims. To me it just seemed like Amazon did little more than ‘invent’ the Nook three years after Barnes & Noble did.
Price was one of the big points that was claimed to make the Fire a huge hit. Not many journalists bothered to read the press release – those low prices are for the units that constantly shove advertising in your face. You can pay $30-40USD extra to get rid of the ads.
Availability of all of Amazon’s content was heralded as another component that was going to make Fire reign supreme. I am not so sure this is as compelling as it is being made out to be. For one, I can consume all of Amazon’s goods on my existing tablet (a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1). This could turn out to be a huge negative if the Fire is perceived simply as a content delivery portal and less a general purpose tablet. Here Amazon is trying to make the same play that Apple did with iTunes – trying to wrap consumers paid contents up so that it is not so much purchased as it is rented.
Recent numbers claim that there are over 250,000 pre-orders for the new Kindle, but of course, as with the original Kindle, there is no way to verify the numbers. Nor will there be any way to verify the returns when consumers discover that all they can do with the Kindle is buy stuff from Amazon and not much else.