Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE, which Mr. Bezos is touting as ‘The Best Tablet … at any price’. Well, it doesn’t have FCC Approval yet.
There’s even a small notice on the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE page (on the right, below the Preorder button section). It says -
This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.
What? But we all thought you were selling it Amazon. Wasn’t that what the whole ‘In a Hangar in the Middle of Somewhere’ conference was about?
It’s rather remarkable that Amazon would start taking preorders for it when the FCC hasn’t approved it yet. There is always the chance something goes wrong and Amazon won’t have it available for sale by Christmas. Which would be an epic disaster. Not to mention unfortunate given that Amazon has done everything right so far – hype, meaningless Press Releases, Aircraft Hangars.
Anyways, let’s hope the only current viable alternative to iPad 3 doesn’t get stalled by the FCC.
Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE Thoughts
- Kindle Fire HD 4G has a 1900 by 1200 HD display with 254 pixels per inch on a 8.9″ screen. iPad 3 has a 2048 by 1536 resolution screen with 264 pixels per inch on a 9.7″ screen. Kindle Fire HD is approximately 84% of the screen area and approximately 96% of the pixel density. That’s very close – but it isn’t the same. On the other hand, the smaller screen gives Kindle Fire HD better portability – It’s 20 ounces (575 grams) and 9.4″ by 6.4″ by 0.35″. iPad, meanwhile, is 1.44 pounds (652 grams) and 9.5″ by 7.31″ by 0.37″. Kindle Fire HD is 88% of the weight of the iPad 3. It’s also thinner. Bet Apple isn’t happy about that.
- Amazon has now backtracked on Ads and says it’ll let people turn them off for $15. Question is – How will someone who paid $499 (or $599 for the 64 GB model) feel about paying another $15 to turn off Ads?
- Exchange Calendar, contacts and email. Anyone have more details on this? This seems to me like it could be a very big deal. On the product page Amazon has a ‘Connect to Your Corporate Email’ section which says – Kindle Fire HD features full support for Exchange-based accounts.
- Does anyone know what the second year of LTE would cost? First year is 250 MB per month for just $50 ($50 for the entire year). This is very good (although a bit impractical if you don’t have WiFi at home and in the office). It’s the second year cost that’s worth knowing about. Also, why does Amazon not mention what the other data plans from AT&T will cost?
- Kindle Fire HD doesn’t come with a power adapter. That’s just funny to the point of ridiculousness.
- After the deception known as Silk Browser I’m very reluctant to take Amazon’s claims of 41% faster WiFi seriously. Ditto for its claims that it has a graphics processor faster than Tegra 3.
- Amazon has started using Apple style charts. When showing a speed comparison of the Kindle Fire HD 4G graphics processor Versus Tegra 3, it showed bars that didn’t start from zero. So, visually, it seemed Kindle Fire HD graphics processor was double the speed of Tegra 3. That’s just sad.
- You pay $200 extra for Kindle Fire HD 4G and you get – 16 GB extra memory, 4G LTE, and that’s it. So a $15 to $25 LTE chip and a $25 to $30 16 GB memory stick is worth a $200 markup. Another Apple lesson that, rather unfortunately, Amazon has learnt.
- Amazon doesn’t list Silk Browser as one of the features. But it does sneak it into the comparisons chart. You have to give them credit for still promoting a feature that actually makes the browser SLOWER.
- Skype integration is a cool feature. It wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon came up with ads as good as the FaceTime ads. Technically, Skype was doing FaceTime a long time before FaceTime.
- Kindle Fire HD 4G Battery Life isn’t mentioned anywhere. Perhaps this is related to the lack of FCC coverage. iPad 3 has 9 hours of browsing and 10 hours with WiFi off. I seriously doubt Amazon will be able to match that.
The more details we find out about the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE the clearer things get -
- Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE is definitely going to eat some iPad 3 sales.
- Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE isn’t yet the Best Tablet. It definitely is a competitor but the iPad 3 still holds the crown based on what we know so far.
- Amazon has chosen to obfuscate and/or has neglected to mention the downsides of the Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE. This is not a wise choice. If users know the pros and cons beforehand they can make the best decision. In the long run that is also best for Amazon.
Mr. Bezos is morphing into Steve ‘Magic Marketer’ Bezos. Amazon is cloning so many Apple sales tactics that Apple probably wishes it had patents on its sales strategy. Which, in my limited understanding, is far more important to Apple than rounded icons or Slide to Lock.
Apple’s iPad product refresh cycle will have to change. If it doesn’t switch to a Fall refresh, then Amazon and Surface Tablets will eat it alive next year. This year it will still get by on the momentum and lead it has. By next year it’ll have to switch to Fall releases for iPad and it will have to do much faster product refreshes and improvements. Retina Display and LTE were the big things for iPad 3 and now the competition has that. So iPad 3 goes into the Holiday Season with far fewer advantages.
Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE – the most credible iPad challenger so far.