Mr. Bezos has tricked all the Apple Media into Equating Kindle Fire and iPad

The Kindle Fire HD reviews are out (for the 7″ $199 Kindle Fire HD) and they are very interesting. You really, really, really need to read some of these reviews (my thoughts next to the links).

The Unbiased Reviews

  1. Walt Mossberg (All Things Digital): Kindle Fire HD is Better, but it isn’t The Best Color Tablet. This is an interesting review – it’s hard on the Kindle Fire HD but fair. It’s pretty clear that Mr. Mossberg consider iPad to be much better. Walt Mossberg’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is good value for those primarily interested in tapping Amazon’s large collection of content.
  2. Edward Baig (USA Today): Kindle Fire HD gives Nexus 7 Stiff Competition. This (and the other Kindle Fire HD reviews in this section) is what a review looks like when the reviewer doesn’t have an axe to grind. Notice how Mr. Baig declined to compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD model with the iPad – something that the Biased Reviewers did. Why? Because, obviously, waiting for the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD and comparing that to the iPad would be too accurate a comparison. So let’s compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the $499 iPad and trumpet how iPad is better.
  3. LaptopMag: Kindle Fire HD is one of the best 7″ tablets, Best for consuming content on the go. Another very unbiased article and very in-depth and well done. Kudos to Laptop Mag which does a solid, solid job. Laptop Mag’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is better for consuming content, Nexus 7 is better in some ways.
  4. Joanna Stern (ABC News): Kindle Fire HD – One of the Best Tablets, Not No. 1. A good review and a very balanced comparison between Kindle Fire HD and Galaxy Nexus 7. The bottom line section is one of the best of any of the Kindle Fire HD reviews. ABC News’ Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is ONE of the best Tablets at any price.

The Axe to Grind, Mind Already Made Up Reviews

  1. David Pogue (NYTimes): More Soot Than Sparks From This Fire. David Pogue lays into Amazon with a ferocity that makes me wonder if Amazon’s Girlfriend kicked David Pogue’s Cat. He literally bad mouths it in every imaginable way, throwing in some weasel phrases to seem less biased. Pogue’s Verdict: Kindle Fire HD is a good tablet but Amazon executives are ‘loopy’ for calling it ‘the best tablet at any price’.
  2. The Verge (Joshua Topolsky): Kindle Fire HD gets a 7.5 Review Score. This site is famous for being hopelessly biased towards Apple. So it’s very interesting to see what ‘reasons and rationale’ it comes up with to justify its innate bias. We get gems like ‘Is the beauty more than skin deep’ (in the subtitle no less) and ‘one longs for the details of the iPad’ and ‘it’s disappointing to me that there’s no 3G or 4G option here’ (for a $199 Tablet?). The absolute most hilarious parts are where they go after the Kindle Fire HD’s software – ‘It’s an odd dichotomy, to have one half of a product be so uninspiring’ and ‘It almost scared me in a way to move too quickly, like I would end up engaging parts of the tablet’. Someone thinks they’re still in Creative Writing Class. Verdict: 7.5 for Kindle Fire HD. Prepare to not be inspired and reminisce about how magical and revolutionary the iPad is.

All this brings us to the main point of this article.

Mr. Bezos has tricked all the Apple Media into Equating Kindle Fire and iPad

What do you do if a market has a dominant player? One that also happens to have most of the main stream media in LOVE with it.

You throw the Media a juicy challenge. One it can’t resist. One it thinks it will win.

That’s what Mr. Bezos did. By throwing up the ‘Best Tablet At Any Price’ mantra he did two things -

  1. The Apple Media were going to compare the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the $499 iPad anyways. He gave them the green light. Absolved them of whatever little guilt they might have felt at picking a lopsided comparison between a $199 Tablet and a $499 one.
  2. He gave them a HUGE INCENTIVE to constantly compare Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ with iPad and talk about how iPad is better because ‘it feels better’ or because the $729 model is better than the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.

The Main Stream Tech Media is now FREE to do unfair comparisons and it is INCENTED to do unfair comparisons. By throwing out ‘The Best Tablet at Any Price’ Mr. Bezos has pretty much FORCED the main stream media into CONSTANTLY talking about how iPad is Better than Kindle Fire.

It has to – to justify the image it has in its mind of iPad being the most wonderful thing ever created.

This brings us to Part 2. All this Free Publicity for Kindle Fire HDs and all these comparisons against the $499 iPad wouldn’t be worth much without Part 2 and Part 3.

Part 2: By COMPARING iPad with Kindle Fire HD constantly you have people begin to think they are COMPARABLE

This is a psychological thing. If you tell someone twenty times – X when compared with Y is better. The thing that stays in the person’s mind is – X and Y must be comparable + This person thinks X is better. Perhaps I should find out for myself what is better (because it’s my money I’ll be spending).

If people read ‘iPad is better than Kindle Fire HD’ and ‘iPad and Kindle HD Compared – iPad Ahead’ and ‘$499 iPad ahead of $199 Kindle Fire HD’, then gradually they start thinking -

  1. iPad = iPad vs Kindle Fire HD.
  2. iPad vs Kindle Fire HD = Perhaps I should find out more.

So all these people who ONLY KNEW iPad, suddenly get ‘iPad vs Kindle Fire HD’ in the front of their thoughts.

It makes ZERO SENSE for the Apple loving Media to suddenly give free publicity to Kindle Fire HD and start equating it with iPad (by constantly talking about Kindle Fire HD vs iPad). But they are doing exactly that.

To make things even more amusing they are constantly comparing $199 Kindle Fires with $499 iPads without realizing that REAL PEOPLE HAVE TO BUY THEIR TABLETS THEMSELVES. Press doesn’t care about $300 less but people do.

The ‘Kindle Fire HD is the best Tablet at any price’ comment has lit a fire under the seats of the Slavishly Devoted to Apple Media and now they absolutely MUST demonstrate how much better iPad is.

Even if it means increasing the awareness of Kindle Fire ten-fold and cementing it in people’s minds as an iPad alternative.

Which brings us to Part 3.

Part 3: Amazon has the $199 Kindle Fire HD, the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, the $499 Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE

Customers who never would have heard about Kindle Fire HDs start hearing about them. Customers who didn’t think there was any option other than iPad suddenly have Kindle Fire HD vs iPad drummed into their heads, and now they set out to find some information on their own.

Then, wonder of wonders, they find out that they have OPTIONS – there’s more than one Kindle Fire HD. The Press only compares the $199 Kindle Fire HD with the iPad (because that’s the easiest way they can rationalize their undying love for iPad). But customers find there are three options -

  1. Kindle Fire HD for $199.
  2. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ for $299.
  3. Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE for $499.

This is where everything kicks in. They’ve shifted from 2 options to 5 (after iPad Mini comes out it’ll be 5). They are in this new state of awareness where instead of ‘only iPad exists’ they now know that 2 iPads and 3 Kindle Fire HDs exist. The Kindle Fire HDs also seem very reasonably priced. And the screens seem very good (negating the biggest iPad advantage at time of buying).

Where does this new customer reality of ‘2 iPads and 3 Kindle Fire HDs exist as options’ stem from? From Mr. Bezos claiming ‘Kindle Fire HD is the best Tablet … at any price’. That’s ALL it took. For the Apple infatuated press to decide it would MAKE IT ITS MISSION to show EVERY ONE -

  1. Kindle Fire HD exists. Don’t forget it exists.
  2. Kindle Fire HD is an alternative to the iPad. Don’t assume you have just one choice.

What more could Amazon and Mr. Bezos ask for? They certainly weren’t going to get fair comparisons. Might as well get free publicity and also let the Press equate Kindle Fire and iPad so that every user planning on getting a Tablet thinks she should compare both Tablets before buying one.

5 Responses

  1. While I don’t have a horse in this race, I didn’t find Pogue’s column to be inflammatory. I think he lists about as many positives as negatives, and is very complimentary about the audio. Some of the negatives are facts, e.g, the Fire doesn’t come with a wall charger.

    Actually, maybe I have two horses in the race, since I have a Kindle Fire and an iPad. I like them both, but for different uses. In any case, I don’t find Pogue’s report to be unbalanced.

    • Thank You. Coming from a Debating background I find his article to be the equivalent of what a dumb speaker who thinks he’s very smart would write/say when trying to appear fair while being totally biased.
      Of course, it’s not like he’s unethical or anything. So I’m probably attributing to malice what can simply be attributed to incompetence.

  2. Maybe you and I read different versions of David Pogue’s review in the NY Times? Putting his review under the heading of “an axe to grind” or “mind already made up” and using the statement “lays into Amazon with a ferocity” is, in my opinion, a bit biased on your part. I find his reviews in general to be very impartial and this one is no different. He has both positive and negative things to say and attacking HIM for this review makes me think that YOU have the axe to grind. Nowhere in his review did I find any statements not backed up with facts (with the obvious exception of the “loopy” statement…..which was certainly NOT vicious but rather it was quite funny) and valid comparisons based on Amazon’s statements. Most peoples reviews are making comparisons between Amazon and Apple……it seems natural to do so in this marketplace…… regardless if it’s the tablets or phones. As a matter of fact, read David Pogue’s review of the new Samsung Galaxy S III (in spite of the lawsuit!) for a really glowing comparison of Samsung to Apple.

    • Thank you very much. I was HOPING someone would claim that Pogue did a TOTALLY FAIR REVIEW. Note: I am talking only about this one review.

      The thing is – Pogue is not an idiot like the Verge guy so he does things very smartly and gets away with it. Let me illustrate why his article is a hatchet job on PURE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND INFLUENCE TERMS.

      *****

      Headline: More Soot than Sparks From This Fire

      Note: Of ALL the reviews, this is the ONLY one that straight out pans Kindle Fire in the heading itself. Even The Verge guy waits until the subtitle to try and set a negative tone (Is the beauty only skin deep).

      Second, let’s consider how he sets the tone for the entire article.

      Paragraph 1: Talks about something seeping into the water supply and making Amazon executives a little loopy.

      Paragraph 3: Lists each and every negative of the Kindle Fire. No Camera on the back. No GPS. No Speech Recognition. No ToDo List or Notes App (even though there are dozens of free ones in Kindle Fire Store). Trails iPad in thickness, screen size, screen sharpness, web speed, software polish, app availability. It can only dream of iPad’s universe of accessories.

      How many of those are IMPORTANT negatives. How many of those are sketchy. He says ‘trails ipad in screen sharpness’ and thickness when it’s 96% of the pixel density and the difference in thickness is 0.01 or 0.02″. He claims no ToDo List or Notes App even though there are dozens in the store that are free.

      *****
      So what do we have three paras and after one title – He’s set the tone for the entire article. Now he’s going to try and pretend he isn’t biased.

      So he goes:

      The Kindle Fire HD is not a disappointment. It’s not! Or it won’t be, once Amazon finishes polishing the software.

      So, again, weasel phrases. Not a Disappointment. Wait a minute, Software isn’t polished. So it is a disappointment. If he wrote it like that (and if he was that candid throughout) then it would be clear just how biased his article is. But he’s using weasel phrases and paragraph placement (good and bad mixed so the amount of negativity is implicit, not explicit) to APPEAR unbiased.

      *****

      If you get into debating or study political speeches. You see this ALL THE TIME. Since the time of Cicero and when Aristotle wrote ‘Rhetoric’. These are all very standard things.

      Option 1: Claim you are FAIR. Then ruthlessly attack a product.
      Option 2: Ruthlessly attack a product. Claim you love it. Attack it some more. Point out some good things to make it sound like you’re fair. Then attack again.

      *****
      Here’s a little more on Pogue.

      *****

      David Pogue does three things very very well –

      1) He sets the entire tone for the article as very negative. He does it very, very strongly. Negative title. Negative first few paragraphs spelling out every single flaw (even imaginary ones).

      2) For every good thing he mentions, he always adds a negative immediately. To Nullify it.

      3) For every bad thing he mentions, he adds in weasel phrases to try to appear fair. Note that he NEVER says – This is a failure. This is a good thing. So he never negates failures. Instead he says – This is a failure. Hopefully Amazon fixes it.

      By adding the ‘Hopefully Amazon fixes it’ or something equivalent he tries to appear fair while still conveying the negative.

      *****

      It’s just REALITY. Just because he’s good at using weasel phrases and just because he keeps PRETENDING he’s being fair, does not mean he’s unbiased.

      Seriously, Amazon’s Girlfriend never should have kicked his cat.

  3. First, I don’t have a problem with David Pogue’s review either. I like his humor! Second, yours is a good article – gotta love all that marketing psychology. Just like the political marketing psychology. Can’t believe a thing you hear anymore

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