Why Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire can’t pierce Apple’s iPad sales

“Since Amazon launched the Kindle Fire last October, many media analysts have suggested that the new low-cost tablet could seriously impact future sales of iPads,” Tim Bajarin writes for PC Magazine. “They reasoned that the Kindle, with its broad range of Android apps, would make it a worthy competitor. I, on the other hand, stated in my columns and commentary that I simply saw it as a consumer-focused consumption device. It would be more optimized for media use and not positioned as a versatile device that could span the broader business capabilities of the iPad.”

Bajarin writes, “So, when Apple reported that it sold 15.4 million iPads last quarter and felt no hit whatsoever in demand, I was not surprised. It reinforced the idea that while the iPad is great for content consumption, it also can be used for mainstream productivity, as well as used in vertical business markets… It is the iPad’s versatility that attracts those who want much more [than Amazon’s Kindle Fire can deliver]. It appears that Apple’s high growth in iPads is being boosted by demand for it in IT as well as mainstream consumers.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Amazon cuts tiny screen Kindle Fire orders in half, sources say – January 20, 2012
Tablet display shootout: Apple iPad ‘excellent,’ Amazon Kindle Fire ‘major flaws’ – December 20, 2011
If Amazon’s Kindle Fire is so hot, why is it still in stock? – December 19, 2011
‘Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual’ author to return Kindle Fire, keep his ‘years ahead’ Apple iPad 2 – December 15, 2011
Amazon touts Kindle e-reader sales with few details – December 15, 2011
Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire’s big security problem – December 14, 2011
Lack of parental controls on Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm – December 12, 2011
Disgruntled early adopters of Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire have slew of complaints – December 12, 2011
Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire estimated to play distant second fiddle to Apple’s market-dominating iPad – December 6, 2011
Usability expert Jakob Nielsen tests Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: ‘A disappointingly poor user experience’ – December 5, 2011
Instapaper creator reviews Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire: Bad game player, bad app platform, bad web browser, bad video player and bad Kindle – November 18, 2011
PCWorld reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Flawed, unimpressive, subpar; can’t hold a candle to iPad – November 16, 2011
Mossberg reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Frustrating, clunky, much less capable and versatile than iPad – November 16, 2011
Apple iPad 2 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire: Bootup, browsing, and Netflix streaming (with video) – November 16, 2011
Wired reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Web browsing sucks, emotionally draining, makes reading a chore – November 14, 2011
NY Times’ Pogue reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, ornery, unpolished – November 14, 2011
The Verge reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Uninspired, confusing, incredibly unoriginal – November 14, 2011
Engadget reviews Amazon’s tiny-screen Kindle Fire: Sluggish, clunky, too limiting and restricted – November 14, 2011

PC Magazine reviews Apple iOS 5: The best phone and tablet OS, Editors’ Choice – October 15, 2011
The Guardian reviews Apple iPad 2: Ahead of the pack – March 25, 2011
The Telegraph reviews Apple iPad 2: Does everything better; now’s the perfect time to join the iPad club – March 25, 2011
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPad 2: ‘The Holy Grail of computing’ – March 16, 2011
Ars Technica reviews Apple iPad 2: Big performance gains in a slimmer package
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Associated Press reviews Apple iPad 2: Apple pulls further ahead – March 10, 2011
PC Mag reviews Apple iPad 2: The tablet to get; Editors’ Choice – March 10, 2011
Pogue reviews Apple iPad 2: Thinner, lighter, and faster transforms the experience – March 10, 2011
Baig reviews Apple iPad 2: Second to none – March 10, 2011


  1. Problem is that so called ANALyst don’t see the experience of the product.
    They see a Mercedes Benz A190 and a Ford K and they think “Hey, it has a motor and four wells, then they must be the same but the ford is cheaper!!!”
    No one in their right mind would ever think that the kindle could compete against the iPad.

  2. As an Apple stockholder though I wonder how the iPad will do in Enterprise once Windows 8 tablets come out with a more compete operating system, even though all applications will have to be rewritten for ARM which will take time. The temptation is to think Apple will still prevail as it advances too, and probably will, but who really knows?

    1. Windows tablets never did all that well in the enterprise before, so why should they suddenly be in demand now? What is going to be so special about a Windows 8 tablet? Even older Windows tablets ran MS Office and specific Windows applications, so what’s really changed. A new touch interface? So what? I don’t believe that vendors are going to easily fit desktop Windows OS into a reasonably priced thin tablet. I think it’s going to require far more hardware resources than a mobile OS tablet will.

      Consumers do not need the extra aggravation of using a Windows tablet and that’s all there is to it. Consumers and businesses took to the iPad for good reasons. They liked it and wanted to use it. There’s no guarantee they’ll take to a Windows tablet the same way. Build an overall good product and it will be desired and that tenet will hold true for anything. This Apple shareholder is not worried at all because I believe Windows 8 tablets will not harm Apple’s overall tablet business which mainly consists of consumers happy to leave Windows behind for various reasons. iPads are just much simpler to use for most consumers than an equivalent or more versatile Windows device.

    2. You mean because IT guys will be psyched that they can deploy it by the same rote means that they have been using for years? Possibly.

      However, a “more complete” OS on a tablet with current technology is going to be slow and provide substandard performance. In other words, anyone that needs real horsepower is going to be using a laptop or a desktop, anyway. In the areas where horsepower is not necessary, like email and word processing, it does not seem to me that a “more complete” OS provides any advantage over an iPad.
      After all, I think part of the appeal of the iPad to non-techie users is that they perceive it as easier to use than a computer with a desktop OS.

        1. Except the fire is the turkey about to get burned.
          (iPad: “you got consumption on my creation! No, you got creation on my consumption!”. For the whippersnappers, that’s a take on an old Reese’s cup advertisement.)

  3. The analysts love to believe that cheap products will always harm Apple’s sales even though it’s being proven time and time again that it isn’t happening. If that’s the case, companies like BMW or Porsche couldn’t exist because Nissan and Hyundai sales would cause them to collapse. I don’t know why analysts have this idea that every product Apple has will be commoditized by some cheaper product.

    The Kindle Fire is nothing like the iPad except for some overlap in certain functions. The analysts just see them as two tablets, one expensive and one that’s inexpensive and that’s as far as they comprehend. I often wonder if that’s how they live their own lives and how they choose buying their own personal products. Do they actually believe that a lower-quality, cheaper product is all that most consumers are interested in? I don’t think that way, so I don’t understand the analysts’ reasoning. Most consumers that I know, if they can possibly afford a better product they’ll go for it. They’re basically not cheapskates by choice and will try to go after the better product if their budget allows it.

    This idea that a cheaper product is just as good as a more expensive one doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense to me. That has to be determined by testing or ownership. You might get some consumers tricked once, but it’s not going to necessarily work the second time around. The idea that Kindle Fires are cutting into iPad sales is pure BS for the most part until those Fire buyers come to me and tell me that they were ready to buy an iPad for $499 before the $199 Kindle Fire came along. And they’d better tell me exactly what features mattered most to them and they’d better be more than satisfied with the choice they made.

    Any analyst believing that a consumer buying a Kindle Fire did so as an equivalent substitute for an iPad is likely a fool and so is that consumer.

  4. Journalists and bloggers love to pit products against each other in order to gain readers, no matter if they actually compete against each other or not. In this case, both products serve different markets. The Kindle Fire competes against the Nook Tablet, not the iPad. Silly journalists and bloggers!

    1. I have the original Apple TV and two second generation ones. What I use it for now is to send programs from the iPad to the big screen using Airplay. Recently the BBC made available for Canada its BBCiPlayer app, and a subscription service that gains access to tons of its programs. Instead of watching tv programs I can watch the BBC in Canada, albeit a selection of its programs. An Apple branded TV wouldn’t help me at all, but would be nice to have. The problem is the content on television and the compulsory cable charges. Ugh.

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