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?

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