I for one, put the Kindle Fire on my Christmas wish list. I played with it for about 40 minutes at Best Buy and found it quite likeable. I have been holding off buying a tablet in hopes that someone would get wise and put a cell phone with bluetooth into the tablet, but have lost patience. So when Kindle came in at $200, I figured my wife and kids could come afford it (if they don't, I probably will).
I too thought the iPad introduction was a big risk. Like many, I thought, "it's just a big iPod Touch," and I had been an iPod Touch owner for quite awhile before the iPad came out. But after getting an iPad, I quickly realized that the usage model is so much more than an iPod Touch.
We have also been a Kindle family for several years, although it's my wife's and I only get occasional usage of it.
I think the Kindle Fire will be an enormous hit for Amazon, and I look forward to future posts here either validating that prediction or telling me what an idiot I was.
Kudos to companies like Apple for taking the gamble that the iPad would be perceived as so much more than a big screen iPod Touch, and to companies
Iike Amazon for taking the gamble that the Kindle Fire would be perceived as so much more than another Kindle or another Android tablet.
My wife pre-ordered a Kindle Fire for the promo price of $189 from Amazon to accompany her lifetime 3G enabled e-paper model. She loves both. The Kindles are only a conduit Amazon uses for continued sales. Amazon offers "Amazon Prime", a bundled service offering free shipping for products as well as free TV & movie downloads from Amazon. At $79/year we will pay for the entire BOM again in less than 2 years. Yes, Amazon has some costs associated with their Prime service but Prime offers Amazon an immediate cash flow buffer on top of the small margin of the Kindle Fire. My family is probably not a typical user base of technology. We hold on to things much longer than market obsolesce would predict. Over a 5-year period using Amazon Prime with the Fire, the BOM will have been $143 at time of purchase and total revenue will be $584. That is a 4:1 revenue:BOM ratio. Not bad after all. Movies, books, etc. are essentially pay-per-view for those not purchasing Prime.
The success of both iPad is not solely because of the company - Apple. Nor is it because of Jobs' reputation. I believe it is a combined effort of company, Jobs' reputation and the deliverable contents - the apps, the apps store. Amazon sees the opportunities. Kindle Fire may likely capture a piece of iPad market because of the contents available. There may likely be market for people who only want to read book/ magazine and watch videos. Who knows how the ballpark being segmented? Only the market can tell. :)
How can the Kindle Fire in any way "undue this company stability'? Amazon had pre-sold close to 3,000,000 units prior to launch and they are expected to sell close to 5 million in two months. That's more than the iPad!
If anything the Kindle Fire is already a massive success, already making much more of a dent than Motorola, Samsung, or RIM have made with their tablets.
Not to mention that Amazon has one advantage Apple doesn't. Content. Loads of content. The Kindle Fire was a brilliant decision by Amazon's honchos.
Any product introduction is a risk. Look folks, the iPAD is big. Some people don't like that. If this device is on par, or even "close enough", in performance and availability of apps then Amazon will pick-up market share as the "right-sized" iPAD. Good luck to them.