I just pre-ordered an Amazon Kindle Fire Android tablet, announced today at Amazon’s press event in New York City.
Why would I jump without ever seeing the thing?
Let me share a few reasons I decided to buy the Kindle Fire today.
Android on Amazon’s Ecosystem
The most significant draw of this device has to be the Amazon ecosystem. In one device you get an Android tablet with all that Amazon gives you. As an Amazon Prime member I enjoy being able to view some of the video, the selection of which gets better and better all the time.
Amazon has the best selection of books available for an eReader. I remember when I bought my first Kindle I often saw that annoying message saying the book wasn’t available in Kindle format. Over the last year that shows up less and less when I search for the books I want to read, even in the very narrow and obscure subjects in which I’m interested.
Add to that the new Android Amazon App Store that offers a free app every day. Many of my Android apps have come from this free app of the day. The app store offers most of the apps that you could want. I’m betting the Fire will be rooted within a few weeks and I’ll be able to add more apps from the Google Android Marketplace and other third-party markets.
Finally, the plethora of other Amazon content sold in their huge store make this a great shopping companion. I can see myself out at the mall or department store with my wife and as she looks at things she wants, I will pull out my Fire and search for the item. With Amazon Prime I can get almost anything she’s interested in buying for less. If the product costs more than $4 less, I can add next day shipping for almost instant gratification. Within a year I believe I’ll save more than $200 carrying this thing around.
Kindle Fire Product Overview from Amazon
I believe Amazon has the clout to make this work. When the dust settles the Kindle Fire will be the most popular and best 7″ tablet available because of the ecosystem alone so long as they have the other factors people care about as well.
None of the above would have mattered to me if the price had been closer to $400 or higher. Since Apple sells hardware, their device costs more. Amazon sells content in their store and the hardware serves as the interface. I assume the $200 price point might even be at cost or a razor-thin profit. Amazon might even be losing money on the deal knowing they will likely gain much more from people like me who will carry the light 7″ device and do comparison shopping.
The Barnes and Noble Nook Color was nice, but without a much larger app store, you had to root the thing to really make it an Android tablet. The Amazon App Store offers much more than Barnes and Noble. As I said above, many of the apps I have on my Android phone and tablet come from Amazon’s store through their free app of the day. Most of them are junk, but even if one each week is worth buying you get 52 good premium apps a year for nothing.
Add to the free apps a lot of great content, you get a nice selection. They have a long way to go before they match Apple or even the Google Android Marketplace, but it will be enough for most users.
Obviously, I haven’t seen the hardware itself. I like my Kindle and this feels like it will compare nicely but with a color touch screen. The dual-core processor should provide fast and smooth interaction of the Amazon skinned Android OS. But the biggest draw for me was the size.
I have a 10″ iPad and a 10″ ASUS Eee Pad Transformer. A 7″ device will fit better into my mobile lifestyle for quick and simple reading, browsing and email. The size and weight will likely make this my go to device on the road so long as I can get the apps I want. Most of those are available in the Amazon App Store.
The look and feel of the Fire reminded me of the Nook Color which I recently sold knowing that the Fire would be coming soon. If the Fire hardware does compare nicely or better to the Nook Color, then I know I will be happy.
Amazon Fire TV Commercials shows off what the new tablet can do.