Apple’s iPad Air vs. Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX: Amazon is simply lying

“Amazon says its Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX is ‘twenty percent lighter than the iPad Air,'” Bill Palmer reports for The Palmer Report. “This is a factually correct statement. But it’s also a lie, and Amazon knows it.”

“Why? The two tablets being compared in the ad, the iPad Air vs the Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, are of two different sizes,” Palmer reports. “In fact the Fire has a screen that’s twenty-seven percent smaller, meaning that at twenty percent lighter it’s actually heavier-per-screen-inch than the iPad Air.”

“Because most people watching this ad have no idea of the size of the Fire, Amazon knows that by placing it next to an iPad Air it can cause viewers to mistakenly assume that they’re the same size,” Palmer reports. “Then point out that it’s 20% lighter and $120 cheaper, and Amazon creates the illusion that the iPad Air is just an overpriced and pointlessly heavy device. Because Amazon never actually falsely states that the two are the same size, it’s not the kind of lie that the FCC would get involved with. But it’s still a lie.”

Read more, including a great point about iPad mini vs. Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Only the desperate and/or the immoral stoop to deceit in order to peddle their wares to the clueless.


  1. and the price they put in their tv ad.. is with Ads (special offers) on the Fire.
    Have to pay an extra $20 to not get the Ads.

    course they don’t explain that on the tv ads either.

    1. Valid, they’re reaching for an extra $20 in the claim here, but that still puts it at $399 vs $499, so their price advantage remains valid.

      The inherent problem with the ad is that it calls out a product that one would reasonably expect to be heavier as heavier — water is wet — as if it’s a problem. The smaller product is lighter, and that remains true when comparing the Kindle HDX to the smaller iPad Mini.

      Comparing it to the iPad Mini w/ Retina would put it at the same $399 price point, give the “lighter” advantage to the iPad (again, it’s smaller), but Kindle would still have the advantage in pixel count and density.

      It’s a carefully calculated omission–very good advertising, if you ask me–and ultimately Kindle is comparing its “full size” Kindle to Apple’s “full size” iPad.

      1. I noticed a major inaccuracy in the article. The HDX’s 8.9″ screen is only 8.25% smaller than the iPad’s 9.7″ screen. That being said, as a Mac user, Android devices are no longer an option. Though I’ve been pleased with overall Android experience with the various mobile phones I’ve owned, Android doesn’t hold a candle to the iOS when it comes to integrating with Mac OS. All this “iOS vs Android” garbage comes down to one thing: personal preference. And as far as the price difference goes, even though Apple devices tend to be more pricey, it has been my experience after man years of being a PC user, then switching to Mac after a frustrating and infuriating experience with the Windows Vista launch, that Apple devices tend to have a longer life expectancy, thus in the end you get the same overall bang-for-your-buck.

    2. 2 things:
      1) Not everyone minds the ads
      2) If you take into account the relative size of the devices ( kindle 231mmx158mmx7.8mm;air 240mmx169.5mmx7.5mm) then the kindle fire is only 15% lighter.

      So yes, they’re lying it’s not 20% lighter.

      1. Yep, can confirm that comparing dimensions for Kindle HDX 8.9 vs iPad Air both only Wifi versions, the Kindle is 14.54% lighter per volume than the iPad Air. Dimension and weights of devices taken from webpages of their respective sites. (Kindle HDX 8.9: 231 x 158 x 7.8 (mm) @ 374g; iPad Air: 240 x 169.5 x 7.5 (mm) @ 469g)

  2. I’ve seen an ad claiming the Kindle has a million more pixels than the Air, which also isn’t true. I think they were distorting things by using the lpi/dpi measurement of the Kindle’s smaller screen.

    1. Same ad, and it’s true unless the actual numbers are inaccurate. The Kindle has a higher resolution (2560×1600 vs the Air’s 2048×1536) *and* a smaller screen, giving it a dramatically higher ppi, but also 950,272 (“nearly a million”) more pixels in the display (4,096,000 vs 3,145,728)

      1. I laugh when I hear that commercial, because Apple has understood for over a decade that you can’t sell consumer electronics on technical specs. Most customers don’t want to think about that stuff — they just want to know what the device will do for them. That’s why you never saw an iPod or iPhone ad mention gigabytes or pixel count or processor speed.

        Apple has known this for ages, but their competitors still think it’s the 90’s and they’re selling PCs.


        1. Amazon doesn’t care what Apple thinks.. It is simply selling a product tied into its own ecosystem that sells more products for them. It is designed to be the ‘best’ cost/value device to consume Amazon services (ebooks, music, video, shopping). That it is a fork from Android and can run Android apps not tied into Google APIs doesn’t detract much from its original goal. It being lighter is a bonus on a device with a form factor that is closer to HD tvs’ 9:16 ratio than the current iPads.

          1. And that is why tech geeks are so divorced from reality. The vast majority of consumers don’t care about pixel count, or any other technical spec, unless they’re trying to impress their friends with superior numbers. They care about what the device can do for them.


            1. The majority of consumers care about what the device can do for them at a REASONABLE price. 😀 THAT’S why device like the Kindle HDX sell relatively well. Not everyone needs an iPad to fit their needs.

    2. It’s not hard to best Retina Display, however it’s foolish. RD hits the point of diminishing returns for viewing. Other displays may be a little better at video, but not for reading. Apple now focuses on battery life and faster processors. That is more important to users experience, and Android is far behind on. It’s funny that Android fans would say anything nice about the Kindle. It is not an open OS and locks you into Amazon’s ecosystem. The same things they bitch about Apple.

      1. Actually the ‘lock in’ you claim is not quite true.. As long as the App does not include use of Google APIs (which is rather easily done btw, just don’t include the lib files) it will work fine on Kindle tablets. Building an Android app for Kindle that communicates with an app for other Android devices does not use either groups’ special APIs so is also no problem.. It would be more apt to say Amazon is more a ‘fenced’ garden with doors than a completely ‘walled’ garden like Apple is.

  3. My wife has an iPad Mini. She uses it 6-8 hours a day. In a year that is 5.5 cents an hour more than a Kindle. And the screen image is fabulous on the iPad, thank you very much. I think I will stop worrying about this.

    1. And that is based on one year’s usage. Many users are still happy with their four-year-old iPads. Not too sure a Kindle would last so long with the type of usage you describe.

  4. MacDailyNews Take: Only the desperate and/or the immoral stoop to deceit in order to peddle their wares to the clueless.

    Walking a fine line on deceit is the essence of advertising, and let’s not forget Apple’s response when accused of deception in their iPhone 3G ads, claiming the phone was twice as fast for half the price:

    “Plaintiff’s claims, and those of the purported class, are barred by the fact that the alleged deceptive statements were such that no reasonable person in Plaintiff’s position could have reasonably relied on or misunderstood Apple’s statements as claims of fact.”

  5. Sadly, so many have fallen for that lie and already convinced its true. Do you think anyone will make a commercial to dispute Amazon? The government is too scared of Amazon to straighten them out.

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