Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD: Ads on the lock screen, incompatible with all other Android phone and tablet apps and content

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet, “There’s no doubt that Amazon’s original Kindle Fire tablet was a huge hit. It earned over 10,000 5-star customer reviews, it remained the number-one best-selling product on Amazon since its introduction, and it captured 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales in nine months.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, Amazon’s original Kindle Fire was not a huge hit. And, no, it did not capture 22% of U.S. tablet sales in nine months. Question what theses CEOs tell you in their Steve Jobs-inspired stage shows, Adrian. It’s not always true. Bezos wanted you to make that mistake, Adrian, and you did.

• Apple’s revolutionary iPad widens lead as tablet sales surge – June 15, 2012
• Apple’s massive domination of tablet market unabated as Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire demand tumbles – June 5, 2012
• Apple’s iPad remains dominant in Q112 while Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire fizzles – June 4, 2012
• Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire shipments have dropped off a cliff – May 9, 2012
• Amazon’s Kindle Fire shipments fizzle to anemic 4% market share – May 4, 2012

10,000 five-star reviews on Amazon’s own site. Anybody going to question that or are we just shotgunning codswallop today?

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “Amazon hopes to duplicate the success it has with original Kindle Fire with its family of Kindle Fire HD tablets.”

MacDailyNews Take: No, Amazon doesn’t. They hope it’ll actually be successful, unlike the original Kindle Fire.

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “First, there are new displays. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with a 1920×1200 1080p HD display with in-plane switching, Advanced True Wide polarizing filter, and featuring a 1280×800 720p display. 254 pixels per inch that Amazon says are “indistinguishable to the human eye” — in other words: it’s a retina display.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Comes with a 1920×1200 1080p HD display… and featuring a 1280×800 720p display?” Adrian must be using a crappy Windows PC. And, no, it is not a Retina display (although it is surprisingly good on the spec sheet). When it comes to displays, Retina™ is trademarked by Apple.

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “From a hardware, price, and services point of view, there’s a lot to like about the Kindle Fire HD. But there are some things that anyone thinking about buying one — especially if they don’t already own a first-generation Kindle Fire — need to know.”

“First up is the fact that the Kindle Fire HD is a vehicle for delivering you ads. Yes, that’s right. Every Kindle Fire HD that Amazon sells is ad-supported, those ads being displayed on the lock screen when the device is not in use,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “If you’re comfortable with such things, fine; but if you’re not then this might be a black mark against the entire lineup.”

MacDailyNews Take: Likely not much of an issue for Amazon’s price-concious target market, but here’s the thing: As we’ve seen with Android phones, cheapskates don’t make the best customers. Therefore, those ads are likely to be less effective and Amazon’s goal of selling content is hamstrung by the type of skinflint consumer to which they are pandering. In other words, if you really want to sell content, it’s best to target the well-heeled who actually have money to spend and who are proven to spend it. Unfortunately for Amazon, those are Apple customers.

Why smart retailers lust over Mac, iPhone, and iPad users – June 26, 2012
Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones – April 2, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Researcher: Apple iPhone and iPad the top choices among affluent users – July 26, 2012
• Apps for Google Android make only 24% as much as same apps for Apple iOS devices – December 13, 2011
• Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
• iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
• Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
• Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “Another downside is Amazon’s app ecosystem… If you like to have the latest ‘must-have’ Android app as soon as possible, then an Amazon tablet might not be the Android device for you. If you already own an Android or iOS device, then you should be clear about the fact that everything you’ve bought — apps, content and so on — can’t be migrated to the new platform. If the stuff you’ve bought is disposable then this won’t matter, but if you have apps or content that you turn to regularly, switching platforms will mean buying your stuff again.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again: Android settlers don’t crack open their wallets without much consternation. They are cheap. Asking them to repurchase what little they’ve purchased is a fool’s errand. When they figure out that they need to repurchase apps and content, Amazon had better be equipped to take returned units. If they have to repurchase their stuff anyway, Fragmandroid settlers would be smarter to upgrade now and go with the #1 platform and ecosystem, where everything just works.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yuck. We’ll wait a bit to see what Apple has up their collective sleeve, thanks.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Paul” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Amazon takes aim at Apple iPad with larger 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD – September 6, 2012
Amazon announces slew of new Kindle tablets – September 6, 2012


    1. Amazon has done that in the past, so I will guess the answer is “Yes.”

      Only thing is, you have to buy that model in the first place – no paying to remove them later.

  1. This article is not totally correct – you can easily sideload apk files from other sources onto the Kindle Fire, so migrating most apps (and getting apps from other sources) is very much so possible. You will have to manually install any updates to the apps, so it still is a poor user experience, but it is possible.

    1. MDN” Again: They are cheap. Asking them to repurchase what little they’ve purchased is a fool’s errand. When they figure out that they need to repurchase apps and content, Amazon had better be equipped to take returned units.”

      Not only are they cheap, they don’t read real well either, so MDN is right, they will buy and return. Time doesn’t mean seem to mean much to this group of people.

      Funny, Folks that don’t have much money have lots of time, Folks with money never seem to have enough time.

      1. Tired, Ignorant narrative: Poor = Lazy.

        Single mother working two jobs is not lazy, but likely poor, and has little to no time to herself.

        America is full of working poor and families working multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Skinflints is not a term I would use to describe them. It is derogatory, demeaning, and shows a general lack of compassion.

        Arrogant, ignorant take MDN, drinking a little too much GOP koolaid I think.

        1. I agree with TRUTH. I find myself all too often having to remind my child that she is privileged – that most children even those within our own subdivision do not have what we have. I grew up with nothing, busted my rear end through 4 college degrees and can now afford luxuries like HDTVs, HD cable service, Macs, iPhones, iPads and AppleTVs – but I never forget that there are many that can not afford these luxuries. There are far more people in this world that can’t afford a $69 Kindle, let alone a $500 iPad. I fear for the generation of my daughter – I’ve spoiled her far too much, and some day she’ll have to realize she’ll need to live within HER means, not mine. That she’ll need to earn a living first, and luxuries second.

        2. If they are that poor and that busy working two to three jobs, they have no interest in a Kindle Fire.

          What’s more they are, by definition, not the skinflints we are talking about.

        3. I agree, I had nothing growing up so my children have been lucky, being called a skinflint because I do not buy every new thing that apple comes out with is wrong, I just chose not to buy apple products.

  2. Wow. I’m an Apple owner and fan, but this article seems to assert that people who purchase Apple products are rich and snobby. I can bet there are quite a few owners out there who had to scrape their pennies together and save for their Apple purchase. And on the other side, I will bet that there are plenty of Android and Amazon owners who could easily afford an Apple product, but opted not to purchase it, and not because they couldn’t afford it. This article is a real turn off.

    1. No one ever said that people don’t save and scrape together the money to buy Apple products.

      But statistics do show that Apple users consistently spend more on apps and media.

  3. I’m not rich, nor famous. I do scrape pennies to purchase Apple products. The products I have purchased have by far outlasted my alternative platform products. I use Apple products because they WORK without having me constantly having to repair, defrag, install software to keep them running. My HP lies under my bed for the past 2 years, non working. Yes, I could pay 200.00 to have it repaired if I do the labor. My iMac, which is 6 months older runs as if it were new. I had already paid 180.00 dollars on the HP, plus, it lost 4 keys on the keyboard after repairs. All this on a 9 month old “premium” laptop that I paid 699.00 for. My imac runs Mountain lion fine, syncs my iPhones and iPad, as well as the iPods. I will not be buying other platforms or products until they are able to meet or beat the intrinsic value of my Apple ecosystem.

  4. From Amazon:

    “Options for unsubscribing special offer will be announced soon.”

    Glad to see this option. Good competition will keep Tim Cook from taking it easy. After talking to other iPad 3 users such as myself, I think Apple has finally got some real competition in the tablet market. This is good because I really wonder if Tim Cook is as driven about producing great products and services as was the late Steve Jobs. Seems to me that Cook is more about profits and less about great products and services.

  5. Am I the only one who doesn’t understand the two separate screen resolutions?

    Is it 1920×1200 1080p HD display with in-plane switching,

    or is it featuring a 1280×800 720p display?

    I am totally confused. it seems the “featuring” would be the big sell… but 1900×1200 is the better thing…

    I am confused… and i think regular people might be confused too…

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