Unless you live under a technological rock you know 2 things.
- Amazon released a new lineup of Kindles (including a tablet)
- Apple is going to announce it’s latest iPhone(s) tomorrow
After Amazon revealed the newest members of the Kindle family the internet was abuzz with talking heads postulating if the Kindle Fire†would be an “iPad killer”.
Let’s get one thing straight. The only company that will develop an “iPad killer” is Apple. They have a cannibalistic strategy when it comes to innovation and no one does it better. They just ousted Exxon as the most valuable company (in the world?) for crying out loud.
Over 37 million iPads have been sold. That’s at least 36,000,000 more than Amazon has sold of it’s Kindle Fire.
However, and my main point is, Amazon doesn’t need to make an “iPad killer”. The Amazon Kindle Fire, much like it’s Kindle brethren, is in a niche class all it’s own.
As a long time fan and user of both Amazon and Apple products (specifically the Kindle 3 and iPad 2) here are 5 key differences between the Kindle Fire and iPad.
When it comes to screen size some would say more is better. That’s why people have televisions the size of an entire wall. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. The iPad 2′s 9.7 inch screen is crystal clear and smooth, but it can get heavy and cumbersome especially when it comes to reading. The Kindle Fire has a 7 inch screen and can easily fit in one hand.
The “entry level” iPad is $499 (with the top model at $829). The Kindle Fire is $199. The $300 difference in price tag alone creates a gap in the target market. Nearly $500 is hard to justify. A lot more people could think up an excuse to drop almost $200 on a promising table.
The most notable difference is the Kindle Fire does not have a camera. Beyond this the disparity in features comes down to applications. Apple has a bazillion apps while Amazon has slightly less. However, most of the popular apps (Angry Birds anyone?) are available on both platforms.
This is actually the one reason Apple should be sweating. If you want 3G on the iPad the price jumps $130 and you have to purchase a monthly data plan through AT&T or Verizon. The Amazon Fire comes with free Whispersync. Let me say that again. The Amazon Fire comes with free Whispersync. For people wanting to sync digital content or stream video on the go, this is a game changer.
When it comes to music and movies for mobile devices I think Apple has a slight upper hand, but when it comes to books no one can beat Amazon. That being said most new release albums, DVDs and novels are available on both.
All of the factors above really boil down to one question:
What are you going to use the tablet for?
If you’re looking for a pseudo laptop replacement with computing power, stellar graphics and enough screen real estate to check emails at arms length then you’ll want the iPad. Assuming you can convince the spouse you need one.
If you’re looking for a content consumption device to watch movies, read books, play games and casually check email all on the go then I’d seriously consider picking up a Kindle Fire.
Do you have a tablet?
What do you like/hate about it?