Nov 16 AT 9:45 AM Taylor Wimberly 15 Comments

Amazon Kindle Fire unboxing and specs don’t matter, but ecosystem and price will push it past iPad sales

Kindle Fire

Can the Amazon Kindle Fire really outsell Apple’s iPad2? After spending less than a day with the $199 Kindle Fire, I believe Amazon will pull it off. And I think it will happen much sooner than many analyst are thinking.

As many bloggers have been discussing this week, hardware specs don’t really matter with a device like the Kindle Fire. What does matter is the $199 price and Amazon’s massive content ecosystem of 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books. There are millions of consumers who aren’t quite ready to drop $499 on a tablet, but when you lower the price to $199 and produce a device that’s good enough then you are going to attract a lot of holiday shoppers and impulse buyers.

A recent Kindle Fire study from retrevo.

Apple recently reported record iPad numbers, selling 11 million units during last quarter. This holiday quarter should see even greater sales, but I think Amazon can surpass that next year when they expand their tablet portfolio. Reports suggest that Amazon has increased production of the Kindle Fire twice already and could ship between 5-6 million devices before the end of the year. With the Kindle Fire appearing in over 16,000 retail locations, I predict it will be the hottest gift this year and sell out before Christmas.

I’ve already witnessed the Kindle Fire buzz in talking with some of my non-nerd friends who said they planned to purchase the device or they were interested in learning more about it. One particular friend who still carries an iPhone 3GS told me he pre-ordered the Kindle Fire over an iPad because he was an existing Amazon customer and the device was more in line with his budget. He is just one of many Apple customers that I think will be purchasing their first Android device this year.

Starting today, the Kindle Fire should be available at Best Buy and other select retailers if you want to give it a spin. Or you could also watch my first impressions of the device as I unboxed it late last night after UPS dropped it off. We plan to explore the Kindle Fire a lot more this week, so please let us know if you have any questions or things you would like to see us try out on the device.

How do you think the Kindle Fire will sell this holiday season? Did you already buy one or are you considering picking up one as a gift?

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • ben dover

    After owning the nook color and then upgrading to the asus transformer, I think i’ll buy 10.1″ tablets from here on out.

    The cool thing with the nook and the fire is that it is showing that the current prices on some tablets are WAY to high!

    Doesn’t look like consumers are hesitating to slap $200 down for a fire but $500 for an ipad or even $400 for a transformer and all of a sudden it’s a “I’m not sure if I want to spend that kind of money on a tablet” game

    • masterpfa

      I would have to agree. Having had the choice of a £400 tablet or same price laptop, I chose the laptop without hesitation,

      if the choices had been a tablet at nearer the £150-200 mark and a laptop I would not have hesitated in getting both.

      Good as they may be for some that price point for most existing tablets was the determining factor for me.

    • smirkis

      I own both the transformer and the fire, I’m sticking with the fire!

  • GSAI

    I’m pretty sure that as Android fans, we shouldn’t be supporting the Kindle Fire. It uses Google’s own creation and moral standards to attack the sales of tablets that actually run pure Android and advertise as such.

    If I were Google, when the Amazon App Store launched a few months ago, I would’ve brought out the flame throwers. Google makes money from Android solely because of the App share. When Amazon is basically taking everything Google created, stripping the Google name from it, and selling it because Google allowed them too, it’s probably tearing away at sales of labeled Android tablets.

    I’m not sure why Google doesn’t have a policy specifically against the Amazon app store, but I think Apps should be sanboxed out of Amazon. They can remain in Appbrain or upstart online markets, but this is out of hand.

    By these standards, Apple could launch an Android Appstore of it’s own, and use Android on it’s tablets just as long as all Google apps were stripped away!

    • Joe

      Doesn’t work that way. Android is OPEN SOURCE.

      iOS is not.

      And I have no problem supporting the Fire. When I get one, how long do you think the exist ROM will be on it?

      The hardware is cheap. The devs will get us the rest. And with the volume this think will sell, the devs will be all over it.

  • autonomousgerm

    Sorry, it’s not going to happen. I agree specs don’t matter as much on a tablet, and the price point gives it a fighting chance. That’s why all these current quad-core tabs are destined to be niche. What matters is the software and ecosystem. Amazon has a compelling ecosystem, and access to some software on the Market. But it feels less like a general purpose, and more like an Amazon shopping device.

  • spencer smith

    the box is not well presented really dull package inside so what does that tell us well 1 is the tab could be really not up to spec 2 if they spent 0 on packaging tab spend on components would be 0 so 00 = dull

    • frank

      Apple makes billions off of people like you that think fancy packaging matters. You’re a fucking idiot stick your ipad up your ass and pretend you’re steve jobs getting aids.

  • Nathan

    I really want to see this happen and see the faces on apple hehe.

  • pickle

    Received mine today. Added Go Launcher EX, set up Facebook, Mail client. Of course I had to add the Angry Birds.
    Gave it to the wife and she was so happy she erased everything off my to do list.

  • mimi

    is this easy to use for kids? like the ipad is ? I’m thinking about getting it for my kids ages 5 and8. so that they can read books and also play games. is it eay to downloads apps ? and like the itunes , if i have one account can i purchase one app and download it to 2 kindle fire ?

  • tooshel

    I have one and the reason I want to send it back is the browser. Open a site and I can’t scroll down until I zoom in a little. Is it just me? Seems crazy I know.

    For $199 it’s a powerful device and a direct link from your credit card to Amazon.

  • pritams

    You indeed predicted real well…

  • BOB#@

    Dude specs really matter, if you start downloading more electronic books, docs and apps. it will slow you down the system, that is why companies who made this computer tabs are making new improvement because they knew that this is going to happen… software are dependent on the hardware. I tell you next six months there will be new one faster than this kindle fire, Ipad 1 has 256 mb, that is memory, but because of slow processing of the Core, they built Ipad 2 with 512 mb, but still this is bogus.