Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Comparison gives Kindle Fire HD wins in Movies, Books, Music

Eric Franklin at CNet obviously didn’t get the memo (Thou art the Press. Thou shall hate the Kindle Fire and nag and complain like Lincoln’s wife.). He’s delivered an excellent Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Comparison which scores the Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Contest as -

  1. Video Streaming – Kindle Fire HD is better than iPad. Here’s a snippet -

    While the iPad proves a worthy competitor in the streaming-video challenge, the Fire HD currently has no equal in this department. If streaming video is at the top of your priority list, the Kindle Fire HD is the tablet for you.

  2. Web Browsing – iPad wins this thanks to Silk being Slow. By the way, Pinterest have hired away the Person in charge of Amazon’s Silk Browser division. Hope … at last.
  3. Music – Kindle Fire HD wins. Again, here’s a snippet from the Kindle Fire HD vs iPad comparison -

    As forcefully as the iPad’s single speaker belted out sound, the tablet is ultimately outshone by the Fire HD, which delivered smooth, loud sound with appropriately equalized bass and treble. You’ve never heard tablet speakers as good as these. I don’t recommend listening to music through most tablet speakers, but with the Fire HD I make a very clear exception.

  4. Books – Kindle Fire HD wins. Mr. Franklin points out things like X-Ray and Immersion reading. He also values the Lending Library for Prime Members (only for Prime Members).
  5. Magazines – iPad wins as it has a larger back catalog of magazines and more optimized layouts and magazine apps.
  6. Games – iPad wins by a wide margin as it has a lot more games and a lot better games.
  7. Apps – iPad wins by a huge margin.

Conclusion, and you’ve got to love this, is -

Make no mistake, the iPad is the best tablet you can buy today; however, the Kindle Fire HD is a great alternative if you don’t want to spend iPad levels of money or simply want a smaller screen and form factor. So which do you buy? Simply put, you buy the tablet that’s best for you. That’s difficult to hear if you’re looking for strict, clear buying advice, but it’s the reality of the situation.

A main stream journalist who is willing to write an unbiased Kindle Fire HD vs iPad comparison? No mention of ‘the way it makes me feel’ and ‘animated flashing messages that say D&G of Electronics’? The world must really be ending in 2012.

Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Comparison – Kindle Fire HD is ALL ABOUT MEDIA SALES & CONSUMPTION

This is the most interesting part of the review to me -

However, there are three areas in which the Kindle Fire HD excels: streaming video, speakers, and — thanks to its multitude of features and Amazon’s lending library — books.

Guess what that corresponds to?

It’s the ‘Movies, CDs, and Books’ part of Amazon’s revenue stream. That’s literally how Amazon spells it out in its Earnings Reports. They have Electronics & Others as one main revenue stream and they have Media (Media = DVDs + CDs + Books) as the other main revenue stream.

Kindle Fire HD is the DIGITAL REPLACEMENT/TRANSITION for a core Amazon revenue stream – Media (Movie DVDs + Music CDs + Physical Books). Literally one of the two biggest revenue streams for Amazon. That’s how important Kindle Fire HD and Kindle are.

What is Kindle Fire HD optimized for?

The three big physical Media revenue streams for Amazon – books, movies, music. Which are now transferring to digital.

What is Kindle Fire HD terrible for?

The things Amazon doesn’t sell and/or doesn’t depend as much on – Apps, Magazines, Surfing the Web.

The things that prevent users from buying and consuming Media – organizing books, checking Facebook, watching YouTube, wasting time with Purple Cow Apps.

Amazon is fighting the War it wants/needs to win, not the Tablet Wars

Amazon was looking for a way to safeguard its HUGE Media Revenue Stream. One of the two pillars on which its ENTIRE business depends. This was particularly important since all three critical components of the Media Revenue Stream (movies, music, books) were seeing a transition to digital.

With Kindles and Kindle Fire HD – they have books covered.

Kindle Fire HD, given that it is better for streaming movies than even the iPad, is a good move to safeguard movie revenues.

Kindle Fire HD, given that the Speakers are amazing, is a good move to safeguard music revenues. Perhaps even steal some share from iTunes.

An Unbiased Kindle Fire HD vs iPad Comparison – From the Main Stream Media, no less

This was perhaps what Amazon and Mr. Bezos were hoping for -

  1. The Press Members would take the bait of ‘Kindle Fire HD is the best Tablet … at any price’. They would compare Kindle Fire HD and iPad. Free Publicity.
  2. They would ascertain that iPad is still better. While saying that the $199 Kindle Fire HD is a good competitor to the $499 iPad.
  3. They would mention that for movies, music, and books – Kindle Fire HD is the better choice.

Finally, please keep in mind that this is a $499 iPad 3 vs $199 Kindle Fire HD comparison. Kindle Fire HD still wins the three areas Amazon is most concerned about. The three areas that are key if it doesn’t want to lose its HUGE Media revenue stream from movies, music, and books.

What happens when the $299 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ and the $499 Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE arrive? If the $199 Kindle Fire HD can beat iPad 3 on Music, Movies, and Books – What can we expect from Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE vs iPad 3?

2 Responses

  1. Amazon isn’t, IMO, only playing defense; it’s also trying to marginalize the Nook. I think that was a secondary reason Bezos invited a comparison between the Fire HD & the iPad–to nudge the Nook out of the picture. It wants to be the Big Dog in bookselling. That’s goal #1. Goal #2 is to be Big Dog in publishing.

    If B&N & publishers want to counter this thrust, they need to cut their costs so the price of paper-books is more competitive with e-books. The only way they can do that, IMO, is to go whole hog for “PODlishing.” I.e., to deliver books to stores electronically, eliminating the costs (to publishers) of printing, warehousing, shipping, and handling returns. Stores would keep one sample copy on their shelves for browsers. When sold, they’d print up a new shelf copy.

  2. You are spot on about the Fire HD’s strengths and weaknesses. It does what Amazon needs and wants it to do and, frankly, doesn’t sweat the rest.

    What most reviewers have trouble understanding is that a lot of users are okay with this. Read reviews at places like Ars Technica and they are treating the Fire HD as a kind of laptop substitute and the comments are filled with folks talking about “rooting” the device!

    What they also don’t get is that tablets are, almost by definition, media consumptions devices. (The Microsoft Surface may be the exception that proves the rule.) It’s hard to imagine a “productive,” as in “work,” use for a tablet that can’t be done much better on a laptop or even a netbook. Following your Facebook or Twitter feeds can’t be called “productivity” without stretching the meaning of that word to the breaking point. You can check your email but anything more articulate than a grunt is better done on a computer.

    Even Apple’s vaunted inroads to the education market involves the original form of media consumption: reading.

    You buy a tablet to consume media or otherwise entertain yourself. That being the case, what matters is ecosystem, ecosystem, and ecosystem. Of course, there’s a hardware threshold but that is judged not by benchmarks but by how it facilitates media consumption.

    I hate to sound like a Jeff Bezos apologist but he’s right: apart from Apple’s cachet, you are buying a service, not a gadget. Reviewers don’t get this. Many of them don’t seem to read anything longer than the articles they write. If they did, they would laugh the iBook concept out of the door because reading a 500 page book with something that weighs more than 20 ounces is a non starter for most people.

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