Kindle Fire HD thoughts – 10 Kindle Fire HD musings

Just Kindle Fire HD thoughts that have been on my mind –

  1. If Amazon is making a Kindle Phone 3D with holographic screen technology, and it is a big IF, then it would make sense to make a high-end Kindle Fire HD with the same technology. Surely, in a world where everyone is looking to Apple for innovation, and where Apple is stuck thinking flat design and thinner casing are innovations, a Tablet with holographic 3D technology would be a hit. It might even get some hipster baristas and ‘look, I can bump other Samsung Phones’ people to switch allegiance.
  2. Is Amazon too late to the smart phone market? TechCrunch shares a Gartner Report that says 75% of Smartphones shipped in Q1 were Android, with 30% being Samsung. Apple had 18% market share (although perhaps 57% of the profit share). Total sales were flat. So Kindle Phone might run into a few big problems – The Market stops growing, The Market has too much competition, There are entrenched ecosystems. On the other hand, it’s such a huge market. There also doesn’t seem to be any REAL innovation going on (things like Siri and bumping phones and NFC don’t seem revolutionary to me). It’s like we’re in 2007 and need a new envisioning of the phone. The actual Smart Phone Market Share Report from Gartner is worth reading – the tables are fascinating.
  3. Is Nook HD stealing Kindle Fire HD Sales? With B&N having added Google Play to Nook HD and with the Mother’s Day Sale at $149, Amazon was forced to reduce the price of the Kindle Fire HD to $179. However, that was just a Mother’s Day discount plus it doesn’t seem enough. Google Play is a big deal. Kindle Fire HD might need a permanent discount. At some point Amazon will have to make a move. Perhaps a permanent price cut to $159. Perhaps add Google Play. Amazon might be super reluctant to open up its ecosystem to Google, so the price cut seems the path it will take.
  4. Will the new Google Nexus 7 2 steal Kindle Fire HD Sales? If the rumors hold up, Nexus 7 2 will be a pretty compelling device. IGN claims a 1920 by 1200 screen resolution, a NFC chip, wireless charging, a HD front camera, and a 5MP rear camera. All this while keeping the price at $199. That screen sounds interesting and wireless charging doesn’t sound bad either.
  5. What iPad Mini will Apple release? How will it impact Kindle Fire HD? If Apple really releases an iPad Mini Retina this year, it will definitely have significant impact on Kindle Fire HD sales. Perhaps worse are the rumors that iPad Mini Retina is being delayed to 2014. Why? Because the rumors claim Apple will release a cheap iPad Mini 2 to make up for the delay of the iPad Mini Retina. A cheap $229 iPad Mini 2 would do a lot more damage to Kindle Fire HD sales than a $349 Retina iPad Mini.
  6. Amazon has a lot of patents that could be used to supply technology for future Kindle Fire HDs. The Foldable Tablet patent. The Gesture Recognition One. Eye Tracking. Advertisements inside eBooks. Amazon also bought Liquavista (Color eInk Technology for Color Kindle) and that screen might make it to a future Kindle Fire HD.
  7. There were rumors that Microsoft was looking to buy B&N’s Nook division. The rumors also claimed that Nook eReader and Tablet sales were a combined 10 million units. What does that say about Kindle and Kindle Fire sales? It suggests a range of 18 million to 30 million total sales for Kindles and Kindle Fires. Amazon still uses ‘millions of Kindle Fires’ when talking about the opportunity for Kindle Fire App developers. Why would it miss the opportunity to crow about ‘tens of millions of Kindle Fires’? Could Kindle Fire sales be less than 10 million? I would have thought perhaps 12 to 15 million Kindle Fires have been sold so far. Perhaps it’s less.
  8. At what point does increasing screen resolution for Tablets become too much? Kindle Fire HD has 1280 by 800 and it’s pretty good. Nook HD has 1440 by 900 and it’s better but not by much. If Google Nexus 7 2 really has 1920 by 1200 screen resolution that would mean it has roughly the same screen resolution on a 7″ Tablet as the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ and Nook HD+ have on 9″ Tablets. Is it even meaningful? Do we really need to be able to see every eyelash?
  9. Is Wearable Computing going to arrive in 2014? How will it impact Kindle Fire HD and Tablets? There are very strong rumors that in addition to Google Glass we’ll see wearable computing from multiple other companies (Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Apple). We already have some smart watches available (the Pebble is one). Will these cut into Tablet sales? The argument is that they will be much more convenient and portable than Tablets. That they will have the ‘New’ and ‘Cool’ factor. The counter-argument is that the screen size will be too small.
  10. What is Amazon’s pain threshold for Kindle Fire Tablet Sales? Let’s suppose that wearable computing becomes big and/or some revolutionary new Tablet arrives (no, not with scented page turns). Kindle Fire HD Sales slow down. Would Amazon stick with the Kindle Fire? For how long?

The last point is one that’s been on my mind. Nook HD is rumored to be the last B&N Tablet. The opening up of Nook HD and HD+ to Google Play is already a capitulation of all the investment B&N put into the Nook. What if Amazon faces the same situation in 6 to 12 months? Kindle Fire HD sales slowing down. Unsold stock. Would it capitulate? Would it keep fighting the Tablet Wars? For how long?

Kindle Fire HD is the Dream Tablet for Amazon

Was reading a Kindle Fire HD article where Apple’s External PR Department (the main stream tech blog zombie horde) was complaining about Kindle Fire doing so poorly (estimates of ‘only’ 6 million Kindle Fires being sold this holiday quarter). It was at Business Insider.

The comments were very interesting. They seemed to fall into two categories –

  1. Kindle Fire is terrible.
  2. Kindle Fire is great for what it is.

And then it hit me. Every Tablet is the Dream Tablet for someone. iPad is the dream tablet for someone who wants ease of use. It’s also the dream tablet for someone who wants a fashion accessory (there are only so many times you can wear a pair of designer shoes in a month, the iPad you can carry every day). Google’s Nexus 7 is the dream tablet for people who want some elusive thing called ‘freedom’ and ‘choice’ – all with the considerate and loving overview of Big Brother keeping note of every click. It’s also the dream tablet for those that want a tablet for games and apps but don’t want Apple’s or Amazon’s controls and checks on how and where they get the aforementioned apps and games.

What about Kindle Fire HD?

Well, that’s the twist. Kindle Fire HD is the Dream Tablet not for a set of users, but for Amazon.

Amazon basically made what it thought would be the best Tablet for its business and for its long-term ambitions. Then it sent it out hoping enough people would like it.

It’s sort of working so far.

From the set of people who buy the Kindle Fire HD, there might very well be some who consider it their ‘Dream Tablet’. However, my guess would be that it’s Amazon itself for whom the Kindle Fire HD comes closest to being a ‘Dream Tablet’.

Consider the Dream Tablet wish list for Amazon –

  1. People can shop at Amazon. Check!
  2. People can buy books and read them. Check!
  3. People can rent movies and watch them. Check!
  4. People can subscribe to Prime and get the benefits. Check!
  5. People can be shown other things they can buy. Check!
  6. People can be shown advertisements. Check!
  7. People can buy music and listen to it. Check!
  8. Other companies are permanently or mostly kept out. Check!
  9. It strengthens users’ relationship with Amazon. Check!

Kindle Fire HD does ALL of those things very well.

A Dream Tablet wish list for Kindle Fire 2 from an actual user would perhaps be somewhat different –

  1. Great Screen and great for watching movies. Check!
  2. Great resolution screen for reading. Check!
  3. No bothersome Ads or Recommendations. Sorry!
  4. Great choice of where to buy things from. Sorry!
  5. Great speakers for movies and music. Check!
  6. Great range of Apps. Sorry!
  7. Very Stable and Well Tested. Incomplete!
  8. Great Value for Money. Check!
  9. Lots of additions and options like a charger and SD Card. Sorry!
  10. Great for Skype. Sort of.
  11. Great for Facebook. Not really.
  12. Great for Internet Surfing. Sort of.

While Kindle Fire 2 (Kindle Fire HD) does check off quite a few items from the ‘Dream Tablet’ wish list, it by no means checks off 100% (or even 80%) of the list. Contrast that with how it checks off nearly every single item on Amazon’s Dream Tablet wish list.

It’s a marvellous stunt that Amazon has pulled off

Ads = Special Offers.

Amazon Shopping Tablet = Kindle Fire Reading Tablet

Amazon Loyalty Club = Amazon Prime you pay $79 a year for.

It really is impressive in a lot of ways. Perhaps not as impressive as Apple selling electronics as status symbols and therefore getting people to trade in perfectly functioning devices every 1 to 2 years to ensure they appear ‘cool’ and ‘more hipster than their Williamsburg cronies’. Impressive nonetheless.

How could we make Kindle Fire more of a Dream Tablet for Amazon?

I was sitting down to write a ‘Kindle Fire 3 Wishlist’. For some strange reason this is where I ended up.

If you start with a features wishlist to make Kindle Fire 3 the Dream Tablet for you and me – there are loads of items you can come up with. However, it’s hard for us (in my opinion) to conceive any major feature that could be added to Kindle Fire HD to make it ‘even more suitable’ as an Amazon shopping and consumption device. If we stay within the realm of things that are ‘reasonable’ and ‘possible in the next 1 to 3 years’ then it becomes hard to come up with features that could be added to Kindle Fire HD to make it a better Amazon Shopping Channel. Kindle Fire HD may or may not be our ‘Dream Tablet’ – It certainly is Amazon’s Dream Tablet.

Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Kindle Paperwhite Available Now!

Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Kindle Paperwhite Review updates on ship.

  1. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ – Kindle Fire HD 8.9″. Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Review.
  2. Kindle Fire HD 7″ – Kindle Fire HD 7″ at Amazon. Kindle Fire HD Review.
  3. Kindle Fire 2 ($159) – Kindle Fire 2 at Amazon. Kindle Fire 2 Review.
  4. Kindle Paperwhite – Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon. Kindle Paperwhite Review.
  5. Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE – Kindle Fire HD 4G LTE at Amazon. Kindle Fire HD 4G Review & Thoughts.