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.

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