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Kindle Fire Grabs Over Half of the U.S. Android Tablet Market

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the its-on-fire-heyo dept.

Android 134

New submitter DillyTonto writes "Amazon got shelled by analysts and the press after releasing a buggy first iteration of the Fire edition of the Kindle e-reader. Three weeks later the Kindle Fire owned 14 percent of the whole market for tablets. Three months later, more than half of all Android tablets sold in the U.S. are seven-inch Kindle Fires, despite a huge bias among buyers for 10-inch tablets. How could a heavily modded e-reader beat full-size tablets by major PC vendors? It's cheaper than any other tablet or e-reader on the market, for one thing. Also important is its focus on being an e-reader, 'because people buy hardware to have access to one app or function, then take the other things it can do as an additional benefit.'"

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Better Marketing (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833361)

I think that better marketing, and tie-in to the Amazon eBook store also played huge factors. Otherwise the Nook Color would have dominated long ago, as it has all the same benefits they tout about the Kindle Fire, but released much earlier and was a more polished product at the time of the Kindle Fire release.

Re:Better Marketing (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833379)

Plus it's not advertised as being Android!?

Re:Better Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835201)

Not so clever shill, knows nothing about the world outside USA...

Chart 21: Android shipments overtake the iPhone 2 years after the launch of Android

http://www.digitimes.com/Reports/Report.asp?datepublish=2011/12/30&pages=RS&seq=400#11 [digitimes.com]

Tablet PC manufacturers prefer Android over other operating system because Android is an open operating system platform and it seamlessly allows third party hardware installations. ErenEben, the local player which is currently selling Android based Tablet PC’s, is currently focusing on professionals and customers aged 35 and above and is becoming a hot favorite for business world in China

http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/android-anticipated-to-become-market-leader-in-china-tablet-pcs-market-by-2016-says-techsci-research-122105.htm [sbwire.com]

Android captured a record 39 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q4 2011, rising from 29 percent a year earlier. Global Android tablet shipments tripled annually to 10.5 million units.

http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=pressreleaseviewer&a0=5167 [strategyanalytics.com]

Re:Better Marketing (5, Insightful)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833399)

Not sure if marketing or just cultural perceptions. While it isn't so much now, MP3 players were effectively generically iPods for a while. EReaders (I need to look up how to handle eReader words at the beginning of sentences. That just looks weird) are to many Kindle. For some a tablet is an iPad. Until the iPhone came out it wasn't a smartphone, but a Black Berry.

This was the first color Kindle that was a Kindle. As the summary stated, people are likely buying an eReader instead of a tablet. I know people who are afraid to even sit down at a computer because it is a scary computer (they still exist) who see the Kindle Fire as a fancier and neat book.

Re:Better Marketing (4, Insightful)

TechnicalExpert (2628135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833409)

There's also the most insightful reason:

Because Android market share on tablets is so small compared to iPad. This makes "android tablet market share" (wtf?) easy to capture to begin with. If people are too poor to get an iPad but want a tablet, they will get the cheapest they can. With Amazon's subsidization (their business model is to make money by selling ebooks, not devices), they are able to sell their device at the lowest price point.

Basically, news about nothing.

Re:Better Marketing (3, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833941)

Right. The market share so tiny that a tablet can grow from 14% of the total tablet market to 50% of the Android tablet market, which implies at least 28% of the tablet market belongs to Android (this from the fucking summary posted above). You technical experts are pretty fucking dumb.

Re:Better Marketing (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834325)

Fanboys aren't capable of performing cognitive tasks, such as arithmetic, when the love of their life is involved.

Re:Better Marketing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834391)

Just by the guy's username "TechnicalExpert" and how new the nick was that I'd be reading some BS Android bashing in his post. There is just something about the name that reminds me of "TechNY" and "TechLA" and "Insightin140bytes" etc. The guy is a shill.

Re:Better Marketing (4, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834359)

If people are too poor to get an iPad but want a tablet, they will get the cheapest they can. [...] Basically, news about nothing.

You know, that would be insightful or interesting or something if you weren't completely wrong. There were and are cheaper android tablets and yet the Fire is still the hero of the day.

Re:Better Marketing (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834705)

It's from a brand that most people have heard of, and it also has an IPS screen. Can other tablets match that at the price point?

Re:Better Marketing (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39835211)

Yes, you can get them for around $100 in volume.

Latest Ainol Novo 7 Aurora android 4.0 tablet pc 7" IPS Capacitive screen Camera 1GB DDR3 8GB HDMI
http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/525833992-Latest-Ainol-novo-7-Aurora-android-4-0-tablet-pc-7-IPS-Capacitive-screen-Camera-1GB-wholesalers.html [aliexpress.com]

Re:Better Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835319)

Yes, you can get them for around $100 in volume.

Latest Ainol Novo 7 Aurora android 4.0 tablet pc 7" IPS Capacitive screen Camera 1GB DDR3 8GB HDMI

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-gs/525833992-Latest-Ainol-novo-7-Aurora-android-4-0-tablet-pc-7-IPS-Capacitive-screen-Camera-1GB-wholesalers.html [aliexpress.com]

He said, "Brand that most people have heard of," not, "Something made from leftover stuff scraped up off the factory floor from some company that nobody but them has heard of."

Re:Better Marketing (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39835607)

"Something made from leftover stuff scraped up off the factory floor from some company that nobody but them has heard of."

Care to take your head out of the sand?

Search: "Ainol Novo 7" About 44,000,000 results (0.47 seconds)
https://www.google.com/search?q=%22ainol+novo+7%22 [google.com]

Customer review:

Wow, no wonder it got the 2nd Place of the Best Tablet Reward on CES
Ainol is a new name to most US consumers, but they are well known in China. I am not very surprised to see they won the best tablet reward 2nd place on CES this year, but I am quite amazed when I finally got a hold of NOVO 7 Aurora.

It's so cool, so nice, just like an Apple product. Actually the shinning white case mimics the Apple style as well. If they print an Apple logo on the back, you will believe it's an Apple 7" iPad.

Re:Better Marketing (-1, Troll)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#39835551)

Only a moron thinks people buy Android because they can't afford an Apple. I know it is the newest rationalization that Apple fanboys make these days, but it is still stupid.

Re:Better Marketing (2)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833523)

Kindle Fire is mostly here a device to watch YouTube (and some downloaded movies). I think in families with (young) children a Kindle Fire is used more for watching YouTube than reading eBooks (also, we have two Kindle Touch for just that). I like it for that, my wife and I both love cooking, and somehow sitting on a couch together and watching a cooking video on YouTube is way nicer than watching the same movie on a laptop or desktop computer. Also, when cooking, one can keep the Kindle Fire close at hand, and follow the instructions.

I have a Kindle Fire, got it as a Christmas present. I think it's a fantastic device. The only downside is that I am not in the USA. When after a month a small defect showed up in the LCD Amazon cared a lot but was not able to help me out other than suggesting that I would pay ~ 140 USD to have my Christmas present fixed, see Kindle Fire outside the USA: fun while it lasts [johnbokma.com] .

So, be warned if you're outside the USA and decide to import one yourself. You might end up paying for what adds up to an iPad. While I hope that Amazon will start selling the Kindle Fire outside of the USA, and hopefully within my 1 year of warranty, I somehow doubt this is going to happen. At least not with the current Kindle Fire. And with rumours of a smaller iPad I wonder if a Kindle Fire 2 is going to be an option for Amazon.

Re:Better Marketing (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833811)

I use mynook color to read ebooks and surf the web. However my deeesiire fir a couple apps tatbarnes doesnt approve of means my next device will be a generic andriid tablet. 7" tablet is nice for travel.

Re:Better Marketing (1)

John Bokma (834313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833843)

Yup, the size is great, and I think that the Kindle Fire in general is great, if you're living in the USA, that is. Add a built-in mic, camera, and SD card reader and it's would be fantastic device.

Re:Better Marketing (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833983)

iCaps are weird no matter how you do them... I treat the word as a proper noun, with a stupid lowercase letter that has no place in any grammatical history prepended.

Re:Better Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833525)

For $135 refurb'd, the Nook Color is the best deal on a tablet, hands down.

Re:Better Marketing (0)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834087)

I think you have to consider what software you want to run before you claim the Nook Color is the best deal. If you need Windows software or some package that is only available on the iPad, then the Nook would be a waste of money.

Re:Better Marketing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834591)

It was a waste of time reading your retarded post.

Re:Better Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833671)

I bought it thinking I would like it better. I am actually very unhappy with it an think that many of the owners would sell it once the novelty wears off. The fact that it includes an un-activated bluetooth chip just makes it more apparent what this should have been.

Cheap and good quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833371)

What else do most consumers?

No... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833377)

I think it's just the right size. I imagine that most of the customers wanted something its size to begin with.

Re:No... (3)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833471)

I'm still waiting for the one that can display an A4 page without scaling.

Re:No... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833585)

"I'm still waiting for the one that can display an A4 page without scaling."

I don't get it. If you don't print it out, why format it to a size that paper sellers invented last millennium?

Re:No... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833625)

Because it allows you to put what is traditionally a page of material on a - page - while not cranking the font size down to where you have to be 16 years old to read.

It also handles PDFs from printed pages well. And Lord knows, there are lots and lots of those.

So yes, it's an ancient and arbitrary size, but so are Imperial units and we seem to have a devil of a time getting rid of those stupid things.

(The rest of the world can at least ignore that last statement, but us USA!ers have to deal with it.)

Re:No... (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834773)

So yes, it's an ancient and arbitrary size, but so are Imperial units and we seem to have a devil of a time getting rid of those stupid things.

And SI units are supposed to be what? A meter is 1/10000 of the portion of a meridian running from the north pole to the equator through Paris. Why not 1/15000 of a meridian running through Nantes? A second is a day divided by 86400. Where did that number come from? Sounds arbitrary to me. (The modern definitions of these units are just things that can be more consistently measured, but based on the same arbitrary values of the original units.)

Re:No... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835485)

They're both arbitrary; the point was that you can't get rid of arbitrary things easily, not that there is some non-arbitrary practical unit system. The size of a tablet is also potentially arbitrary, but it's convenient at times to fix them to other arbitrary units.

There are advantages to the SI system in terms of trivial, or at least more-trivial, unit conversions, but it's not used for reasons of tradition and backwards compatibility, mainly in the US, and in other countries to a lesser extent.

Re:No... (1)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833627)

Because PDFs are formatted to be printed on paper.
It is possible to read PDFs on a tablet, but either you have to scroll around or everything is small. If the tablet were the same size as the paper, then things would be easier to read.

Re:No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833909)

Because PDFs are formatted to be printed on paper.

Letter size paper not government socialized, euro-comunist, A4 paper size.

Re:No... (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833721)

Perhaps because many non-ebook documents are formatted to either an A4 or US Letter page size and the formatting tends to screw up if you try to change the paper size or re-flow it on the fly like you can easily do with a plain text ebook, assuming it's even possible to do so - ever tried to change the papersize of a PDF and reflow the text? For embedded graphics with text, poor scaling algorithms can often render the text illegible and fine detail (cross hatching for instance) in a diagram doesn't scale all that well either. Also, for complicated layouts (magazines with sidebars and some textbooks for instance) fiddling with the page layout can be a serious inconvenience as it can bump relevent illustations and sidebars off the screen - and don't even get me started on the ones that blindly replicate images than span pages in their print versions into their digital versions!

Scaling the whole page might work, but isn't an option if you haven't got the resolution to keep the text from degenerating into an unreadable blur, and scrolling back and forth, page after page will soon have you pulling your hair out. For people that want to read books, the smaller paperback-esque size of the Kindle's are much more natural and intuitive, for people that want digital magazines that intuitive form factor is something more like an A4 page, and ideally with sufficient resolution to display two pages side by side and still have text remain readable. For me, that means something like the Apple's iPad with Retina display, or at a pinch the 1920x1200 of the upcoming Asus Transformer Infinity.

Re:No... (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834719)

Because of the ubiquity of the PDF format which is more suited for printing than being reflowed on a screen. That's why.

Re:No... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833923)

Why specify "without scaling"? Just say "can display A4 such that it's easy to read." the new iPad has a ridiculous number of pixels and even scaled pages look great. Unless you really need a mm to be a mm, it doesn't make a difference. And if you do, your needs are likely too specialized for the market to prioritize.

Large print (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833999)

Unless you really need a mm to be a mm, it doesn't make a difference. And if you do, your needs are likely too specialized for the market to prioritize.

People tend to lose visual acuity as they age, and a lot of people are halfway blind to begin with. If the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities are "too specialized for the market", what should be done to accommodate such users?

Re:Large print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834167)

Give them a pair of glasses.

Re:Large print (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834569)

Unless you really need a mm to be a mm, it doesn't make a difference. And if you do, your needs are likely too specialized for the market to prioritize.

People tend to lose visual acuity as they age, and a lot of people are halfway blind to begin with. If the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities are "too specialized for the market", what should be done to accommodate such users?

They have these new-fangled thingies called "reading glasses". You should look into them.

How is this surprising? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833387)

Most of the Android tablets are shit. The Motorola Xoom was a joke and the Samsung offerings are only slightly better. Amazon, unlike Google and Samsung, actually knows how to market products and is a very well known and liked brand. Unlike Google, they are not in the privacy invasion business, which is why Google's own tablet will flop.

A lot of users are very happy with their Kindle's so it's only natural that they will turn to Amazon's offerings for their tablet needs.

--

Sundar Pichai is the utter asshole whose incompetence has resulted in the shutting down of Google's Atlanta engineering office.

Re:How is this surprising? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833533)

I have a Xoom and find nothing horrendously wrong with it. The price was right ($300 for tablet + 32GB + sleeve + multimedia charging dock w/ loudspeakers); it runs gReader, UPnP, Chrome, K9 Mail... perfectly well, and reads all SD videos with no issues which, given the size of the screen, is sufficient. HD videos don't work though.
I'm trying to find a reason to discard it and get a newer one, but can't really imagine what more I could be doing with a more recent tablet. Even on my 22" desktop, I'm watching SD videos, so that alone is not enough to warrant an upgrade.

Re:How is this surprising? (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833641)

Right. I'm perfectly happy with my Xoom from the hardware point of view and look forward to Android sucking less over time. The only thing that will move me off this is a 12 inch tablet.

Re:How is this surprising? (-1, Troll)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833803)

Just because you have low standards does not mean everyone else should settle for mediocre products. That has long been the plague of Android smartphones and now tablets. You'd think Apple's high prices would give competitors plenty of room to compete, but the sobering reality is that today's flagship Android tablets have just barely caught up with the 1st gen iPad, in terms of functionality and performance. We have idiots like Asus trying to push quad-core tablets users don't need, while the market is flooded with cheap tablets out of China that force us developers to target Android 2.1, if we hope to have any sizable audience for our apps.

The Xoom would have been a great tablet two years ago, if it had launched at $299 alongside the original iPad. But it didn't. It launched last year, costing as much as the brand new iPad 2, which ran circles around it. Worse yet: it was a Motorola product. They're not exactly known for selling high-quality devices with great after-sales service - just Google "OPMOSH" for millions of angry customers.

Re:How is this surprising? (3, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834777)

First, Depends on where you choose to place your standards. Mine include standard ports, extensible/removable storage, and USB device/host mode. As you said, the Xoom is great at $299, especially with 64GB total, a dock, and a sleeve. An equivalent iPad would have set me back about 3x more, not including all proprietary cables and doodads, and extra Apps I've already purchased on Android.. I'm not sure what functionality you're thinking of.. it's sure harder and more expensive to connect an Ipad to/from stuff than a Xoom, with its standard ports, free UPnP/DLNA, cheap SDs, USB or Wifi keyboard and mouse and gamepad...

I'm really curious about what functionality you're thinking of, if you care to expand ?

Second, I don't really care about performance. I don't game in my tablet, mainly browse/read and watch video, so performance has been "good enough" for me for a while. I still have an original Nook Color, which I find OK too, though too small for at-home use.

Lastly, you overgeneralize: some Android phones have clearly superior features: my Note's AMOLED screen is both bigger, more contrasted, less tiring on the eyes, and more beautiful than the iPhone's unusable (to my old eyes), stamp-size, glow-in-the-dark LCD screen. Also, you seem to forget that Asus is also pushing keyboard docks that some people seem to love, and that quad-core is not only about performance, but also about battery life.

Re:How is this surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835743)

Pwned that fuckin apple fanboi! Bravo!

Re:How is this surprising? (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833569)

I dunno if I agree. The Galaxy Tab ain't bad, really. I prefer my iPad, but I don't have any real serious complaints about the Tab. It even has a few things going for it, for example I can actually get emulators through the market. Can't do that with Apple, not without jailbreaking anyway.

I do think it's a problem of marketing. If you go to Best Buy, for example, you get a nice big display of what the iPad can do for you. When you go to the next aisle, there's something like 20 machines somewhat iPad'ish in shape all with varying price-tags, but none significantly lower than the iPad. I think the casual shopper would walk past that aisle and think "ah, a failed-to-be-cheaper-clone."

They answered the right question, (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833391)

that being "why would you want to buy a tablet?".

... and delivered at the right price (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833435)

They answered the right question, that being "why would you want to buy a tablet?".

And they delivered at the right price. It seemed that most other tablets were in the price neighborhood of the iPad, so people naturally just got an iPad because of the iPad's perception of having more features and apps. With the Kindle Fire coming in at such a relatively lower price they overcame this perception of the iPad.

I am an iPad dev [perpenso.com] and when I played with a Kindle Fire at a family Christmas dinner I thought it was a pretty cool device well worth the price, any performance differences or missing apps were more than offset by the price.

Re:... and delivered at the right price (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833577)

Curious to know how lacking was the perf., in your opinion?

Re:... and delivered at the right price (3, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833717)

Curious to know how lacking was the perf., in your opinion?

It was just a subjective impression. The device was a recently unwrapped Christmas present still in a largely stock configuration. I only played with it for about fifteen minutes. My feeling at the time while navigating between the various built-in apps, giving each a quick try, and then navigating a couple of web pages was that it was not as snappy as an iPad 2, but I didn't really care. It was a $200 device not a $500 device and it was clearly "good enough". As an engineer I was impressed at what they managed with such an aggressive price point.

My cousin, the owner of the device, was quite familiar with the iPad 2, she often used her daughters, and had a similar impression. However she added that she loved the size, it looked far more convenient to carry around during the day to her.

Cheap and good enough beats state of the art... (4, Insightful)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833837)

Which is why eventually the number of Android tablets will surpass the IPAD, even though Apple will still make
tons of money at the high end.

The secret of the Kindle Fire is that for now they have found the sweet spot of android tablets. A high enough price
not to be junk and a low enough price to compete against Ipad and the Fires secret sauce...the backing of amazon.com
who has the customer service and the money and wont cut and run which gives buyers confidence

Also Amazon.com unlike the other tablet sellers built up gradually from a successful inexpensive e-reader
  instead of just trying to come up with a "Our version of the ipad"

.

iPad 2 eventually $300 ? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833891)

In the long run Apple may also be in the middle, not just the high end. If they follow the same pattern that they demonstrated with the iPod and iPhone then when a 4th generation iPad shows up at the $500 price point, the 3rd generation iPad may be offered at $400 and the iPad 2 at $300.

Of course I am curious as to why the original iPad was simply retired. Perhaps there were cost or performance issues in the long term.

Re:iPad 2 eventually $300 ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834351)

Of course I am curious as to why the original iPad was simply retired. Perhaps there were cost or performance issues in the long term.

Apple wants to be able to tell you that anything as slow as the original iPad or slower is now obsolete to reduce the number of people who will buy them, thus increasing their potential customer base.

Re:iPad 2 eventually $300 ? (1)

IntlHarvester (11985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39835513)

Not the processor speed, but the iPad 1 is crippled due to having only 256MB RAM. A lot of apps are very crashy, and some new apps aren't supported at all. (But at least the web browser is reasonably stable after the most recent update.) iPad 2 has 512MB and dual-core, but otherwise there's not a huge difference from the first one.

Re:iPad 2 eventually $300 ? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39835857)

Keeping all three alive either leads to stagnating development (look at the specs on the iPad 1, especially the RAM, then look at how much memory is available to apps after the latest iOS update... yeah) or complaining customers who are upset that their "brand new" iPad 1 can't run anything in the store.

Even without other planned-obsolescence-related motives, retiring it was the right thing to do to keep the app ecosystem healthy. One of the reasons Apple mobile devices are so much nicer to develop for than Android is that it's a fairly consistent platform, and keeping older devices "alive" harms that advantage. Retina vs. Non-Retina is bad enough, and those iPad 1s are feeling increasingly cramped in the memory department--we don't even do game dev, so I can't imagine how bad it is for those guys. We're hoping the next major iOS release kills support for the iPad 1 so we can stop supporting it, and I guarantee we're not alone--though I would guess it'll be the one after that that drops the ax.

Re:They answered the right question, (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833587)

I'm using my Xoom quite a lot: during the day next to my PC to check up on RSS feeds and click though if the news looks interesting, at night in bed to watch movies from my home server via UPnP/DLNA; plus my phone company authorizes tethering and I've got a $30, 3GB plan, though I use it a fair bit to brose the web while travelling. For reading, my Galaxy Note in more pleasant since I can use it one-handed and the AMOLED screen is much less tiring.

Re:They answered the right question, (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834055)

When the refurb Kindle Fire went on sale I bought one as a second tablet. It does provide a level of functionality and infrastructure. On thing I did was cancel Netflix(maybe they support crazy people in the media) and just use Amazon streaming video. I have mostly Kindle book, which I read on many other devices, but of course maybe less easy to read on a sony or nook, but there is an app for android of course.

The point is, like a PC, Android tablets are going to compete mostly on price. Amazon gives us a cheap tablet with services behind it. I can upload all my music to Amazon and stream. I can keep my books at Amazon and download as needed. It is not fully functional table, but it is much better than anything else our there at the price point.

This write-up is misleading (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833397)

1. The Fire is not a 'heavily modded e-reader'. E-book readers are traditionally e-paper devices, the Fire is an Android tablet with e-reader functionality highlighted in the software. You can make a tablet an e-reader, but the other way around, not so much.

2. If more than half the Android tablets sold are 7 inch, then there is no bias among buyers for 10 inch tablets in that category. If you're talking about the entire tablet market, then of course it's 10 inch - the iPad still has more than half the tablet market *in units*.

All that said, the last part is spot on - it's being marketed as an e-reader with extra features (woo, color!), not as a tablet... even thought that's exactly what it is. A lot of people still don't know what they want from a tablet, but they know what they want from an e-reader. If it does more stuff, all the better. If they want a tablet... statistically speaking, they're already buying an iPad.

Re:This write-up is misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833687)

Actually I'd say that Apple has a bias for 10 inch tablets. When customers can choose it seems they prefer 7" to 10", but it could be that no 10" Android tablet matches the price/functionality combo of the Fire.

Price? (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833413)

Hmm, maybe the price had a little more to do with it?
I'm waiting for the google tablet,

Screw Kindle Fire. (2, Insightful)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833421)

If I'm going to limit myself to a 7" tablet I'm going to get the Nook. Same processor, twice the on-board storage, twice the RAM, has an SD slot, just as hackable and can run the Kindle app.

Cost the same.

Re:Screw Kindle Fire. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833515)

Cost the same.

Nah, my bank gave me a Fire for opening a new account. No one around here is handing out Nooks.

Nook? You must be kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833609)

won't work (for app/doc downloads) outside the US without tethering.
3G? US only.

I was willing to shell out for one last week whilst on a visit to CA. The B&N assistant told me of its limitations. Apparently they have sold a good number of devices to Non US residents and taken the flak from them when they find it does not work when they get home.

Amazon has yet to launch the fire in my local market. Their US store would not ship one to me without a US Zip code & US Credit Card billing address.

A plague on both their companies.

Re:Nook? You must be kidding (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833619)

3G support means nothing to me. I use WiFi or nothing. If I'm on the go and I need WiFi for my e-Reader and there's no hot-spots my phone provides one.

Really, I've got enough books stored up in advanced I could go a month of reading and not run out of books I've already downloaded.

Low standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833617)

If I'm going to limit myself to a 7" tablet I'm going to get the Nook. Same processor, twice the on-board storage, twice the RAM, has an SD slot, just as hackable and can run the Kindle app.

Cost the same.

I'm waiting for all of that AND color epaper - eInk -iInk- iPaper-ei-ei-O AND under $100.

I give it 5 years - 10 years tops for it to happen.

I can wait. I've been quite fine for a few decades without tablet computers or eReaders or electronic books or any of that stuff.

The only reason I'm even considering it is that I tried a friend's Nook and I like the layout and form factor over a book. Toss in the elimination of the clutter of having a shit load of books and having the convenience of downloading a book from the library (hopefully one day all their books will be available and in a form other than PDF - PDF sucks for readind electronically. It was designed for PRINTING not READING on a SCREEN.)

Now look what you made me do! The onion fell off my belt!

Re:Low standards (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834379)

I got a Nook Simple Touch used in new condition (AFAICT) and rooted it the day I got it. $75 with the charger, box, etc etc. And the e-ink display is surprisingly useful to me even though there is no color. I'm using Opera Mobile because B&N somehow managed to bone the stock browser and Opera Mini is poop and Firefox won't run on it at all. Most apps seem to work OK, except for the market search, so you use searchmarket. And Youtube, if you log in you can't use it. But you can't watch videos on the display anyway.

Probably that's why you're not willing to spend money on a device with an e-Ink display, but it's still pretty great.

Re:Low standards (2)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834737)

You're going to wait how long?

That's dumb. We're talking about a few hundred dollars. You probably spent that much on a GPU in the last year or two.

I spent that much on lunch last month.

PDF is a problem. ePub is better.

Why not get a real 7" Android tablet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835283)

Why bother with eReaders like Fire, or Nook?

I see real 7" Android tablets for $200 or less all the time. Go to slickdeals.net, there's always something.

Cut the euphemism (3, Funny)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833439)

despite a huge bias among buyers for 10-inch tablets.

What he really meant was, despite a huge bias among buys for the APPLE IPAD

Re:Cut the euphemism (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833489)

The iPad is not a 10-inch tablet. Its screen is smaller than 10 inches.

Re:Cut the euphemism (3, Funny)

JosephTX (2521572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833871)

Apple means 10 internet inches.

Re:Cut the euphemismistic crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833567)

What they really meant is what 'they' printed [itworld.com] .

For all of 2011, Apple shipped 40.49 million iPads, up from 15.1 million in 2010 and good for a market share of 62%. Runner-up for the year was Samsung, which shipped 6.11 million Galaxy Tabs, or 9% of the total 65.19 million tablets shipped last year.

The Kindle Fire, out for less than two months last year, still shipped 6% of all tablets in 2010, finishing third overall.

What seems readily apparent to me that there is no "Android market." Buyers reward the perception of functionality, they don't care what OS the device runs as long as fulfills their desire for functionality. At the end of the day, I know of not one buyer who really took the time to understand nuanced differences between Android based tablets, and it's not so amazing that Apple, with its superior understanding of user expectations and experience rules the tablet market.

After all, it matters not whether you buy a Kindle or iPad if you want to surf the web, shop online, listen to music watch a video or read a book. But it does matter to the ecosystem of sellers which device you bought.

The real question is, why do people continue to buy the iPad at 10:1 over the Kindle? Are they knowingly paying for superior, trouble free use, has Apple's dominance in creative media translated into better sales for media consumption, or is the fact that they've won the hearts and minds of youth through their success in the educational market translating into success in the tablet market.

Geeks may think that hackability is cool, but most consumers I know want a tool to work as advertised, and Apple actually makes the interface kind of fun in ways their competition has never fully grasped. I think the chickens are coming home to Cupertino because Apples HIG and focus on usability have proven to be the right way.

Android is still a baby compared to Macintosh.

Re:Cut the euphemismistic crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835521)

(Score:0)

Please respond.

Re:Cut the euphemism (1)

SurfsUp (11523) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833661)

What he really meant was, despite a huge bias among buys for the APPLE IPAD

Right, what he meant was, despite a huge bias for the APPLE IPAD (according to Apple) people are snapping up Android tablets like crazy.

Apples to other fruits the color of fire (2, Insightful)

xigxag (167441) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833455)

Fire's list price is $430 lower than the list price of the latest edition of the iPad

Not $430 lower. $300 lower. (The $629 iPad is the 4G model, the Wi-Fi only model is just $499)

$200 lower (2)

melted (227442) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833637)

Let's compare the devices that are actually somewhat comparable: 2nd gen iPad is $399.

Unknown sources (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834019)

2nd gen iPad is $399

Plus $99 per year to enable installation of applications from unknown sources, if that's your thing.

Kindle Fire is not bad, but too small (2)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833457)

I'm ridiculously happy with my Le Pan tablet, however, which for $200 is a steal.  Great viewable angle, phenomenal battery life, a good investment for my needs (casual web surfing on my coffee table).

Re:Kindle Fire is not bad, but too small (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833615)

And apparently it comes with monospaced fonts, which is great for those of us who miss telegraphs and typewriters.

Re:Kindle Fire is not bad, but too small (1)

Dr. Zim (21278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834031)

And apparently it comes with monospaced fonts, which is great for those of us who miss teletypes and typewriters.

Fixed that for you. Telegraph operators use handwriting. Teletype was what delivered a printed message with a mono-spaced font.

Conclusion ... (1)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833511)

My conclusion here is that price is more important than specifications or features. At least in this case perhaps.

It was perfect for me. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833555)

I have a six year old and a four year old. No way I was getting them a $500 or even $300 device. At $199 the Kindle Fire was perfect. And it is the first thing the eldest asks for on waking and returning home from school...

Trust tech reporting lately? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833563)

I'd love to see the numbers behind this.

After all, "comScore is excited to introduce our next generation Device Essentials product, which provides new insight into digital device usage and detailed reporting of traffic patterns within local markets,” said Serge Matta, comScore president of mobile & operator solutions. “These new insights are invaluable to all stakeholders in the mobile ecosystem as they seek to provide valuable services and optimize the mobile media experience for their customers."

Yeah, we all trust the numbers of someone trying to sell us a service based on those numbers.

Considering all of the idiotic reports of your GDrive info being used for advertising and the AT&T shareholders voting down net neutrality going around lately - the blatantly false tech story seems to be all the rage lately...

my guess (2)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833673)

low price because Amazon was selling at a loss or near loss, they want you to buy media for the Fire. They made an Android tablet that wasn't marketed as an Android tablet, but people hacked it into one, which is something that Amazon will block or the price will rise. Simply put, unmodded, it's average, modded, it's better than other Android tablets.

Re:my guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834757)

Really, stupid? Going to the built in Amazon market and installing Android applications is "hacking" now? Because if it is a tablet and it runs Android and you can install Android apps then it is an Android tablet. You are an idiot. Enjoy.

Re:my guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834857)

Don't worry about amazon. They are making a profit on Kindle Fire. They don't make a killing like some other company but they do make a profit.

No word of mouth. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833697)

The Fire and iPad are known because of the press they receive. Other then that tablets are sold by word of mouth. Not only for quality tablets but for features.
For example, after reading specs and reviews on the Fire I'm not sure whether or not it comes with Gorilla glass, but I suspect a lot of people will want a tablet that does.

This lack of sense of features means that "all tablets are the same" excpet for price, size and color.

The idea that people don't care about specs is just bullshit. Car companies spend a lot of their advertising busgets putting out specs--#cyclinders ( cores ), mpg ( flash memory size, battery life ), acceleration, "comfortably seats six" ( can store ten HD movies ), "has this fold down rear compartment" ( can use SD cards for extra storage )...

The thing is that people don't yet understand the specs for tablets. It takes some time for people to figure out they want more cores ... ( Hey how come you can read a document and play Angry birds at the same time? When I try that my tablet bogs down--You have two cores I have six ), SD slots, storage etc.

I received mine as a gift (2)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833789)

I had purchased a Nook e-ink refurb a few months before I received the Fire as a gift. I tried the Fire for reading for a few months and it became obvious that it was much more tiring on the eyes versus the Nook.

The rest of the functionality of the Fire was lacking, as you don't have access to Google Play. It was relatively painless to root and flash, so I went to CM9 (ICS) on it. CM9 is missing hardware acceleration, so I flashed CM7 (Gingerbread). It's fairly functional as a normal tablet. There is quite a bit of developer support on xda-developers.

I don't read on my Fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39833835)

I must be the only Fire owner who doesn't care about its e-book capability. I already have (what they're now calling) a Kindle Keyboard -- I read using that.

I got the Fire to access the video streaming that I get with my Amazon Prime subscription, and to play a few app games on something bigger than the iPhone. It's doing those activities just fine. I have no need or desire to hack it to or with anything.

I must be one of those extremely atypical buyers of a product that just uses the damn thing.

There's not much of an Android tablet market (1, Insightful)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39833849)

The framing here is that the Kindle Fire has more than half of the "Android tablet market," but that's a framing that only makes sense to those who follow technology closely and care heavily about Android. This says less about the strength of the Kindle Fire than it does about the fact that there isn't much of an Android tablet market. There's an iPad market. And there's a market for specialized devices such as the Kindle. But that's about it. The vast majority of Kindle Fire owners wouldn't even think of themselves as owning an Android tablet. They simply own a Kindle. There just aren't that many people who want a non-iPad tablet unless it's a specialized device (as they see the Fire), IMO. Unless you're an Android enthusiast, there's no reason to specifically look at an Android tablet.

Re:There's not much of an Android tablet market (-1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834367)

Unless you're an Android enthusiast, there's no reason to specifically look at an Android tablet.

[citation needed]

I went with an Android tablet not because I thought Android was great (although I do now) but because of the software ecosystem; namely, avoiding Apple's. Therefore, you are wrong. Does Apple pay you to be this wrong, or do you do it for free?

Re:There's not much of an Android tablet market (1)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834395)

I'll rephrase. "Unless you're already an Android enthusiast OR you're a trolling jerk, there's no reason to specifically look at an Android tablet." There. That ought to cover your case.

Re:There's not much of an Android tablet market (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834723)

Oh, look at the little Apple faggot? What's the matter faggot? Android tablets won't fit up your asshole? Hahahahahahaha.

Re:There's not much of an Android tablet market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834677)

Unless you're an Android enthusiast, there's no reason to specifically look at an Android tablet.

So, let me get this straight. Unless someone likes Android, there's no reason to look at Android. So, to break it down, if you like Android, buy Android.

Where the fuck do you douchebags and the other douchebags that mod you people up come from?

Disclaimer: iPad owner.

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834025)

Here's how.

Geek needs are a niche.

Will you blithering idiots ever get out of your little bubble and figure this stuff out?

First, it is slightly cheaper; and second... (5, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834093)

...it has the words "DON'T PANIC" inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

Love Mine (1)

m3000 (46427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834155)

Especially after I got it for the $140 re-furb sale they had a few weeks ago, and threw Ice Cream Sandwich [xda-developers.com] on it. Wish it had a camera sometimes, but otherwise I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a cheap tablet.

not where (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834293)

i live - the low-end Nook is a much better deal

Nook Tablet FTW (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39834651)

I love my NT, I got a color before the Fire was ever released.

Many of the Ebooks I have are PDFs from DriveThruRPG, so color was a requirement and the Fire wasn't even an option at the time.

Now the Fire seemed, and still does seem when comparing it to the NTs & Colors, like an "Oh shit, people want this? We have to slap something together and get it out for the holiday season."

Size & Convenience. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39834803)

how about this: it fits in your pocket & you can hold it with one hand, just like a book.

No reason to buy a Fire - buy a real 7" tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835247)

When the Fire first came out, it was not a bad deal.

But now, you can get a real 7" android tablet for the same, or less. A real tablet can do everything the Fire can do, and much more.

Go to slickdeals.net, and find an Acer Iconia, or HTC Flyer, or Asus Transformer, or Vizio 8" or whatever, for $200 or less.

Ecosystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39835703)

In both cases it is the ecosystem, not the hardware that rules the day. Anyone that did not see how the Fire was going to be successful does not understand consumers.

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