In Asia, the boardband rate may be reasonable but the download speed is terrible. I also wonder if Amazon has ever succeeded in Asia, especially China. Amazon doesn't have good reserve of Chinese books and media and the Chinese basically don't like to pay! So, if the selling price is indeed lower than hardware cost (some people said Amazon is going to gain back by service), I don't think Amazon can gain the money back in China!
Two big problems here on the user side:
1. Closed system - I'm not buying something (or taking it as a giveaway) that plays only closed content. To begin with, books that Amazon wants to push are usually not what I'm interested in reading. Second, if I want a book I will buy a book, not an opaque EULA. (Remember the work that disappeared from everyone's Kindles after Amazon had a beef with the publisher? A refund comes nowhere near to covering that kind of thing.)
2. Content going through Amazon's servers. Amazon is already an annoying place to shop due to their 'suggestions.' I don't need them looking at all my browsing and coming up with suggestions based on it. Yeah, everybody does it - but have you ever heard of anonymous browsing?
Finally, on a spite-my-face note, I take great pleasure in buying Amazon's suggested items elsewhere.
Cost of ownership - Tablet + data plan + cost of content is important. If one analysis these cost over one year, cost of tablet becomes insignificant. And real joy of using Tablet is when one has good hardware like iPad.
In country like Canada, data plan required for devices like Tablet are quite expensive - $30 for 1GB. If person can pay this high price for data, he may be able to spend little more and get good device like iPAD.
Low cost cost device like Fire may be useful for person who generally uses WiFi hot spot in home or school/university environment. It will be very good for student - Fire loaded with whole four years of university text and refernce books!
I don't buy the 'walled gardens stifle innovation' line. Sure they prevent any innovation within the garden, but there's always life outside the garden and they're likely to stimulate the creation of that garden's features beyond any garden. At least that's happened with Apple's walled App shop - it provoked the creation of Android's open market.
Yes "walled gardens" are attractive, but they will stifle innovation and delivery as well as diversity as they become "the channel" and keep all competitors out. In retrospect as innovative (and dominating) Apple has been these last few years I believe that it has and will hurt the industry in the long run as you can now see that Amazon is one of the only competitors that can hit the ground running with hardware and software/content. Open systems allow us to compete and innovate - If they keep their entry point too high many markets will have no option but to circumvent them (and the US) market.