The Kindle Fire

At $199 the Kindle Fire is a killer product. Amazon is going to sell a ton of these. (Though I think the $99 Kindle Touch will be the most popular Kindle.)

The Fire is pretty much what we expected: a device that plays to the strengths of Amazon’s content library as well as many of the strengths that the e-ink Kindles have been known for.

For starters, just look at the main product image: it’s a lady holding the Kindle Fire by its bottom corner with just one hand. There’s no way you can hold the iPad like that.

The Kindle Fire is clearly positioned as a device intended for “consuming content” (ugh). Looking at the product page, Amazon brags on the fact that you can watch movies and TV shows, read magazines and books, listen to music, surf the Web, and download apps.

Towards the bottom of the list of things you can do with the Kindle Fire you’ll see that you can also check email and read PDFs. I guess my point isn’t that email and PDF viewing is something Amazon threw in just because, but that they are not emphasizing these some of the main features of the Fire.

The Fire is a portable media center, not a portable computer.

And that is why the Fire is not an iPad killer. Just because it’s a color tablet doesn’t mean it is competing directly against the iPad. Sure, on a sterile feature check-list there are a lot of similarities between the two devices (both have multi-touch color screens, both are tablets, you can use both to read books and watch movies), but the Kindle Fire is built as a different product with a different purpose than the iPad. The price alone tells you that.

The Kindle Fire