Mark my words, Amazon has just introduced the world’s second successful tablet.
- Point of View (POV): Amazon designed the product based on what they do best rather than mimicking Apple. Yes it uses Android and will run Android apps but it’s not an Android trying to be an Apple.
- Price, price and price: Starting with the $79 Kindle, Amazon has made a Kindle purchase a no-brainer. At $199, the Kindle Fire is substantially less than the iPad and the original Kindle. No one has managed to seriously undercut Apple pricing until now.
- Content availability: Tablets are primarily content consumption devices rather than content creation. To win, you have to be able to feed it. Amazon’s content (film, videos and books) provides content that matches, and may exceed, iTunes.
- Customers, customers, customers: There are millions of Amazon customers out there. There are also millions of Kindle users who haven’t stepped up to a tablet because to them it seemed like a significantly more expensive Kindle. The Kindle Fire gives current Kindle users a color Kindle with more for just a few additional bucks.
- Technology innovation: If Amazon’s new Silk browser matches the claims, it’s a very innovative architecture that should deliver a faster web experience. They’ve taken the traditional browser and split the work between Amazon’s extensive cloud infrastructure and the tablet’s browser. A creative and compelling use of their cloud infrastructure.
- Unlimited content storage: Apple’s iPad pricing and margins are built around device storage. Adding memory to an iPad raises the price. Using their cloud architecture, Kindle offers a single device and price point with unlimited storage.
- Applications: I mention this last because it underscores #1 above – Amazon is not participating in the app race. They’ll run Amazon approved Android apps which gives them access to a growing universe but they’ve kept their focus on what they do best – content, price and a powerful user experience.
Granted, all of the above is based on first pass information from Amazon and first day reviewers. Looks like it might be a tad heavy and battery life isn’t up to the iPad, yet.
And it doesn’t intend to diminish the continued success I expect the iPad will enjoy. Apple loves what I call the “BMW” segment of the market; never the Toyota.
BUT, there is no way Apple will continue to own the entire tablet market – that’s the nature of competition. Until now, we’ve had hardware companies offering iPad clones without unique content, pricing or capabilities.
With a clear customer POV, Amazon’s Kindle Fire is your first tablet competitor.