back to article Amazon's Kindle Fire burns iPad momentum

A new survey indicates that Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet is causing some prospective iPad purchasers to think twice. Conducted by ChangeWave Research and reported by Fortune, the survey asked 2,600 "early adopter types" about their purchase plans for the Kindle Fire, which will be released next on Tuesday. Of those surveyed, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And what percentage....

    ...of people who buy the Kindle Fire will still be running the version of Android that it ships with the day after the Cyanogen release comes out.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      That would be the same percentage of people who either do not know how to change the version of Android their tablet runs, or do not care enough to change it?

      About 99.7%, then.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Most of them probably..

  2. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    It Has Rounded Corners...

    ...I smell lawsuit.

    1. dogged

      I doubt that

      One thing you really, REALLY don't want to do is get into an arse-kicking contest with Jeff Bezos.

      Like, srsly.

  3. andreas koch

    doesn't mean anything

    These 26% can't really have meant to buy an iPad, otherwise they wouldn't have lied that they might buy something else. Really trustworthy people will not stray from the righteous path of buying the right thing, the real iPad.

    1. Mark 65

      "Of those surveyed, 26 per cent of those planning to purchase a $199 Kindle Fire responded that they were delaying or putting on hold a purchase of Apple's $499-to-$829 iPad 2."

      So 26% of people spunking income on a tablet said they would put on hold buying an even more expensive tablet? Revolutionary.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fall into that category - I don't really have any tablet preference, although I think one would be handy around the house so I definitely want to see the Amazon offering and given the price think it's likely to end up in the house, in which case there won't be an iPad joining the iPod Touch which currently fills that role.

  5. MojoJojo

    iPad general purpose?

    "but their usage models are different. The Kindle Fire is a loss-leading gateway into Amazon's content trove, while the iPad is a more general-purpose device."

    Well, the Fire has web browsing which is about 90% of what the iPad is used for from what I've seen.

    Is Amazon going to cripple the Fire to the extent it will be worse for productivity than the iPad? I imagine you'll be able to share files between different apps, for a start.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "their usage models are different. The Kindle Fire is a loss-leading gateway into Amazon's content trove, while the iPad is a more general-purpose device."

    Not entirely true. The iPad is intended to be the gateway to Apple's content trove. The only difference is that Amazon are prepared to subsidise theirs...

    1. Arctic fox

      RE: "Not entirely true"

      I think that you have a point here, in fact I would go further. What if it is the case that a very large proportion of iPad purchasers buy it because they perceive it as a fine and stylish media consumption device first and foremost and not because all of them are dyed-in-the-wool iPhanboys? However much fun the rest of us may have from time to time portraying them as such! Therein lies the potential rub from Cupertino's viewpoint. If it is the case (and I am sure it is) that a significant percentage of their pad customers are not committed Apple fans per se, they just regard the iPad (in their opinion) as the best media consumption device on the market then we may have a new situation. If these customers are in many cases making a *pragmatic* choice when buying or planning to buy their next or first pad then the "Fire" suddenly becomes rather more of a threat to the iPad then one otherwise would have expected. If the punters perceive the "Fire" as of very decent quality at a very attractive price that provides (in their opinion) a user experience not *too* far short of the iPad in the context of a media consumption device then some of them may very well choose the Fire rather than the iPad. In the end it is all about customer perception - and that is something that is not easy to predict.

  7. JDX Gold badge

    re:And what percentage....

    90-99% I would suggest.

  8. Friendly Neighborhood Yank

    Nook Tablet

    I canceled my pre-order for the Fire, and went for the new Nook Tablet. Twice the RAM (1GB .vs 512MB), twice the storage (16GB .vs 8GB), an SD expansion slot, better screen, longer battery life, and I can use my existing netflix subscription rather than Amazon's Prime. All for an extra $50.

    It's a gift for the wife, I think it will be perfect for web surfing (oh yeah, nook doesn't use Amazon's cloud based proxy "silk") facebook, aps and games - which is pretty much what she does on the web anyway.

    1. ThomH

      It's not going to win the developers though

      Barnes and Noble operate in the US only. Amazon operate worldwide, making it a reasonable bet that at some point the Kindle Fire will become available worldwide. Even for those developers that are willing to import hardware, the sales figures alone are likely to become a compelling reason to put greater effort into making your app run well on the Kindle than on the Nook.

      That's even before considering how far Amazon's fork of Android may end up straying from Barnes and Noble's.

  9. Turtle_Fan

    I'm covered with the last sentence....

    Yes, the fire will be a monument to suckage with phail written all over it.

    Its claim to fame (or infamy) will only be that it will suck so hard and yet still be sold at a loss.

  10. Darryl

    I wonder though

    How many 'regular folk' (IE Non-El Reg Commentards) actually use their iPad as anything more than what the Fire is designed for? Reading a book, browsing the web, sending an email. If that's all you're going to use it for, might as well save yourself a lot of money

    1. Mark 65

      But what about those of us that are hoping that its (iPad) revolutionaryness will lead onward to bigger and better usages, enlightenment and a more fulfilling existence?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        or lead to an easier, more fun experience?

        1. Mark 65

          I was just taking the piss but it's amazing what passes over the downvoters' heads these days.

    2. Efros

      TBH I hate using my tablet for email/browsing, I will do so if I have to but it is definitely not my appliance of choice for those activities. If you analyse my usage I can almost guarantee it would be 80% reading, 10% media playing (Playon works very well under android) and 10% other activities mostly downloading, trying and deleting the Amazon free app of the day. For reading/video/audio it it's great, for web stuff not so much to my liking mainly because of the screen size and the keyboard or lack thereof..

  11. jubtastic1

    It will be a hit

    I've no doubt Amazon has the chops to pull this off, and it's definitely going to impact iPad sales, but it's going to destroy the rest of the Android tablet market before it even gets going, not only is Amazon in the rare position of being able to subsidise their tablets with content sales, but they're going to reap economies of scale benefits as well.

    3 years from now the tablet market will be pretty much just Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

    1. dogged

      Not Microsoft

      they don't sell hardware.

      1. Spearchucker Jones

        Indeed Microsoft

        I suspect he's talking platform, and not device. Windows 8 has legs - it'll be the first tablet-capable OS that can:

        - be managed using SCCM

        - do AD natively

        - be secured using ForeFront

        - controlled using Unified Access Gateway

        - do remote access via DirectAccess

        - run full Office and connect with Office 365

        - do Outlook and Exchange

        - run Xbox 360 arcade games

        - run enterprise app clients that run on the desktop

        These are compelling business drivers. Android (whichever flavour) and iOS can't compete in that space.

        Whatever your emotive stance to any of these platforms, just imagine how a Microsoft sales guy would talk those points up with a CIO looking to procure tablets...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          They're not compelling business drivers if people don't like using the product.

  12. SkippyBing

    Out of interest, what kind of "early adopter types" haven't already got a tablet by now?

    1. Mark 65

      Me. Don't really want an iPad but everyone else keeps offering me something slightly inferior for the same price (or more) or totally inferior for a genuine saving.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Won't have a iDevice for various reasons, and am waiting for the Transformer Prime. But the new Nook or the Fire might convince me...

    3. Armando 123


      My employment has been sporadic, short-term-contract until recently and we've had some EXPENSIVE home repairs ($7K for a leaky pipe, to give you one example).

      So yeah, I don't have a tablet now.

  13. Efros

    re:And what percentage....

    Similarly those future buyers of the recently announced nook tablet, I had honeycomb running on my wife's nook color 2 days after we received it and she hasn't looked back. Personally I bought a gtablet (bigger screen for my failing eyes) and run a version of notion ink adam on it.

  14. Sean Baggaley 1

    Déjà vu?

    I swear we see similar "reports" trotted out whenever Apple is towards the tail end of a product cycle. The iPad 3 is expected to be announced in about 2-3 months' time; who's going to splash out on an iPad 2?

    This cyclic market is something Apple are more prone to as they rarely refresh / update each product in their range more than once a year. This does make for a more consistent platform and set of consumer offerings, but it means those familiar with Apple's release cycles know almost exactly how long it'll before the better model is due out. If that model isn't out for nearly a year, they'll buy, but the sales numbers (holiday periods aside) noticeably tail off somewhat as the next product refresh approaches.

    Other companies prefer to spam the market with as many confusingly similar SKUs as their designers can churn out, so nerds need only wait a few weeks for their next nerdgasmic hit of technology porn.

  15. Eddie Johnson

    Reality Check

    >>The only tablet experiences folks had (aside from mini-tablet-ish smartphones, of course) were with those hyper-lame – or, to be kinder, hyper-specialized – Windows tablets from days gone by.

    Well yea, if by "days gone by" you mean now and by "hyper-specialized" you mean "general purpose Windows machines."

    We're running Panasonic Toughbook tablets and they still rock, way more useful than any iCrap or Netbook out there. The only downside is their price but Toughbooks live up to their name.

  16. Dick Emery
    Thumb Down

    Maybe most of that 26% are waiting on iPad 3(s)/4.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ah, my new word of the week

    bogosity, thank you, thank you very much

    1. F. Svenson

      better to thank click and clack...

  18. Mark Simon

    Apple’s Competition may be more serious

    When I got my iPad, I wanted something that did many things, of which eBook reader is just one.

    However, iPad has a weakness when it comes to eBook readers. The best one available, Stanza, has just bitten the dust with iOS 5. What a surprise, it was bought by Amazon a few years ago, and it seems they have lost interest in making it work.

    The alternatives, especially iBooks, don’t compare, and a serious eBook reader may well be tempted to look elsewhere if the iPad doesn’t pick up something soon.

    Apple’s software development model has its points, but it also has a serious flaw. It is entirely dependent on third parties to value-add the iPad, and then gives them a hard time doing so. Amazon’s is much more straightforward. Sell books, and develop a machine with software that knows how use them.

    Is it just too obvious to include the fire icon?

  19. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Early Adopter Types

    Doesn't that mean "fashion victim" or "sucker".

  20. g e

    Yeah, but a ROOTED Kindle

    With Honeycomb or ICS installed...

    That WOULD be attractive...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watchout Amazon, you'll be sued because your product also has a screen, a front, a back, 4 sides........

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Yeah, but a ROOTED Kindle"

    "That WOULD be attractive..."

    I'd prefer one that worked*

    *Antipodean humour.

  23. Arctic fox
    Thumb Up

    Indeed that particular piece of Australian slang was explained to me.........

    ..........many years ago when an old chum who had emigrated to Oz told me through gales of laughter that when their new neighbours invited them to an evening barbie and asked them what they had been doing in their new house that day he had explained that he and the wife had spent the whole afternoon rooting in the cellar. The stunned (and possibly impressed) silence alerted them both to the fact that that word had a whole new meaning in Australian English!

    1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

      Depending on where exactly you are it means the same in english english too.

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