Nov 03 AT 1:50 PM Dustin Earley 49 Comments

Apple says fragmentation will put a damper on the Kindle Fire’s success

Kindle Fire

Even though estimated pre-order sales already set the Kindle Fire up to be not only the most successful Android tablet to come out so far, but most successful tablet in general, Apple still seems to think the device won’t make a dent in the industry.

Barclays Group analyst Ben Reitzes recently sat down with Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and according to him, the Apple execs say the Kindle Fire adds to the fragmentation of Android, which “could drive more consumers to the stable Apple platform.” He continues on to say, “while compatible with Android, the Apps work with Amazon products.” This leads Apple to the thought, “the more fragmentation, the better.” The way I see it, Apple is missing out on four key areas that will help the Kindle Fire to become one of the top tablets to ever hit the market.


In the note where Reitzes mentions Apple’s feelings on the Kindle Fire, he also mentions that price is still a threat and that Apple will have to compete with a cheaper product eventually. No matter how you look at it, right now you can buy a full-featured tablet from a trusted name brand company for $300 less than Apple’s cheapest offerings. That will make a huge difference to consumers. Enough so that any custom version of Android the Fire is running won’t affect sales.

Barely Android

The Kindle Fire is running Android, that’s a fact. But the little green guy is hidden behind the scenes in the Kindle Fire. Amazon isn’t calling the Fire an Android tablet, even though it really is; it’s just a Kindle. And it just so happens to run some popular apps that other Android tablets can also run. Don’t be surprised if most consumers who buy the Kindle Fire don’t even know it’s running Android. It’s all about the Kindle.

The Name

Apple should know by now how important product names are. And the Kindle Fire’s gives it the edge. I’m not talking about “Fire” (I actually think they could have done better there), I’m talking about “Kindle.” Much like iAnything, Kindle is a trusted name. Kindles are the best selling ereaders of all time. They’ve become a household name in the way that Kleenex and Droid have. Have you ever heard someone say they have a Nook Kindle? I have. Because the Kindle is the best of its kind. And it’s everywhere.


Perhaps the biggest driving force behind the Kindle Fire will be availability. The price, OS and name won’t matter much if you won’t be able to see all of that in person. Sure, the Kindle Fire is backed by the world’s largest online retailer, but it will also be available in every store that can get their hands on it. Best Buy, Target, Wal Mart, you name it. When consumers see the Fire, and how it runs all these great apps, and how it’s $300 cheaper than the iPad but still a name-brand product, that is what will drive sales of the Kindle Fire through the roof.

No “fragmented” OS is going to stop that combo. Especially when you barely even know it’s there.

Source: BGR

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • ben dover

    Apple sang this same song with Android phones…
    Just look at the numbers now. IOS is way behind Android in just about every stat.

    They are just trying to scare people into buying iPads.

    the iPad will be behind in the numbers next to Android in the future. It just takes time.

    • Black Kristos

      How true. They say these things to get into the press and make sure that anyone that may be on the fence, or may have recently bought one of their products, think the way Apple wants them to.

      Diversification is exactly what has driven Android to become such a worldwide force. They can call it fragmentation, but that is just a boogeyman term. What it is, is eco-system diversification. Different products for different needs; now THAT is “Think Different”.

    • RevSpaminator

      Thanks for saying what I was just about to say. :)

  • triangle

    I’m surprised that Apple didn’t come out and say there were going to sue Amazon for trying to copy its closed, walled garden system.

    Apple doesn’t have anything good to say about anyone who competes with them. They either copy or steal or are inferior or too small or too cheap. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them say anything good about a competitor.

    That reality distortion field must still be growing over there.

    • AppleFUD

      yep. . . that’s what you do when you yourself are a copycat/thief–deflect and call everyone else a copycat or a thief. .. .

      • narunetto

        I am not a fanboy for either but are you just dense? Either you’re a really bad troll or just very unintelligent. Apple has copied and stole so many things in the past it’s pretty funny. Now, I really wouldn’t have much of a problem with it but, they go around touting their products as “innovative” and “new” when in fact they’re just taking ideas and making them their own just like everyone else in this world. But god forbid someone comes along and maybe does the same thing or even does something that they *think* is someone doing that.

        Apple sheep, you are funny, facts are you friend.

        • Gr8Ray

          I don’t think you understood what he was saying. You basically reiterated the exact same things that AppleFUD was saying (take the name as a big hint) yet somehow appear to have been offended by his post. Relax. It’ll all be over soon.

  • AppleFUD

    What do we expect apple to say?

    apple: “Amazon is beating us at our own game. . . this will kill our sales. . . .FUCK!!! Where are the lawyers?”

  • Sal

    Tablet price is the biggest barrier for consumers. At $200, Amazon will smash that barrier and provide consumers with a highly accessible content-consuming device. Apple, you’d better strap yourself in and prepare to feel the G’s.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Yep. You know what they say about tablet pricing. At $200, I’ll take 2.

  • Interpol91

    The Kindle Fire: A less expensive option which still runs great apps and completes the necessary tasks. That is more of a success in a market of mostly expensive tablets.

  • Phil

    Barely Android? Now whenever I say this people are all over me. From day one I said its not a tablet…its a Kindle so I don’t really see it affecting Android tablet sales one way or the other unless people were buying them to be eReaders. Now yes it might be able to do the stuff but I don’t believe its really made to do it easily. Its made to do exactly what Amazon would like for you to do. But people swore up and down that its a full fledged tablet. Now in defense of Apple’s fool babble we admit its not a tablet? lol

    • Black Kristos

      Where the hell do you get that from in the case of this article? I can even quote “Amazon isn’t calling the Fire an Android tablet, even though it really is, it’s just a Kindle.” NOTE the middle portion: “even though it really is”

      Yes, it’s barely Android and he makes a valid point about it. Google TV was barely Android in the begining, too, but we all knew it was still Android.

    • David

      It doesn’t matter and it is a tablet. People see it as a good content delivery device, backed by one of the most popular content consuming platforms (Amazon kindle) and it also happens to run apps. Of course they are Amazon apps, not android apps, but average Joe couldn’t care less. Content + apps equals tablet. And by that they are beating apple in the tablet + content game.

      • muadhnate

        You’re right, my only gripe is that Amazon apps are Android apps. Same code, just two different markets.

    • Darkseider

      Regardless of what you call it it is still an Android tablet. The UI may be custom and no Android Market but that doesn’t mean it isn’t Android. Hell the Amazon App store has the majority of popular apps available as well. To top it off with Amazon Prime you get all the goodness of free streaming media as well. Bottom line is that Apple is terrified and is spreading FUD as much as it can to remain relevant in the tablet market just like they did with Android phones. The writing is on the wall and they see it. Within two years time the Android tablets just like the Android phones that preceded them will have an overwhelming majority of the market share.

  • Dustin Earley

    Lame pun is lame.

  • kazahani

    Typical Apple. They will stick their head in the sand until everyone has a Kindle, and then they will try to sue the crap out of Amazon after it’s already too late.

  • The Android Advocate

    why do we care what apple says…? Speculation…time will tell ans will consumers with their feet and wallets..

    We should by the end of Q1..

    Imagine: Dethroned by Samsung on smartphones..and whacked by Amazon on tablets…i wonder which CE company isn’t having the greatest year.. #FingerCrossed #HowTheFanBwoysLikeThoseApples

    • Eric R.

      I specifically come to a site called “androidandme” to hear about Android everything. I too tire of hearing the iOS perspective, like it is relevant anymore. All these tech sites need to pay the bills with ad hits though, so expect some sensationalism and overstated controversy.

      The Android community needs to check the rear view mirror once in awhile to assure that iOS is still behind them, just not constantly as is appears of late. Nice to hear Apple’s is enjoying being 2nd place in the mobile arena, you know, like they have always enjoyed being 2nd to Windows in the PC arena.

      Happy Friday all :)

      • flatiron

        I’m sure they enjoy being 1st in profits though…

        • Eric R.

          I hope they do well with the money. They continue to show, that record profits have not made Apple a better corperate citizen.

          I’ll root for the team that plays nice with others, and still comes out ahead.

  • alterSchw3de

    Nice analysis! I liked reading it a lot!

  • Nathan

    Apple just scared that it’s going to out sell it ipad on lunch sales

  • sylar

    Apple, we are coming for you. Everyone get your pitch forks.

  • Nursereese

    Preach it! Hallelujah!

  • crickerman

    Fragmentation = diversity, choices and differences are a good thing, we aren’t clones of each other so why do our devices have to be?

  • ihatefanboys

    Waiting for Apple to announce “iDiapers” because they must really be shitting themselves now….lol

  • ihatefanboys

    I honestly never knew the FIRE was an Android tablet underneath…..for some reason I just thought Android could be ported to it…..color me surprised…..might have to check this out.

  • ihatefanboys

    What does apple know about “fragmentation” anyways….ya know when apple will get fragmentation ? when their user base realizes that theyve been paying all that money for something that hasnt changed much since 2007, and fragment over to Android…

    • Darkseider

      Apple knows quite a bit about fragmentation with iOS. With the iPhone 3GS, 4 and now 4S all being able to run the current iOS 5 but each phone having to be dumbed down as to what “features” it can use based on hardware specs. Last I checked that was forced obsolescence. With Android although older devices may not get an “official” update most have the ability to be rooted and have a custom recovery flashed then allowing them to update to one of the many current builds of Gingerbread available to it from the Android dev community.

      • Yiannis

        So true! i got the first galaxy s and i feel that even iPhone 10 couldn’t do half of what this little monster can do. and even if it happened to have a faster processor, this old smartphone would still be better for a simple reason. It has a usb port :)

  • 00qan[T] Meister

    Looking how Android has sold right past Apple in 2010 & 2011, every-time I hear Apple mention fragmentation? What comes to my mind is “we have no legitimate reason to bash the Android platform, so we’re going to try to scare people with this word.” Ask all of those people running OS-X 10.4, 10.5, the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G, & the first two generations of the iPod Touch. What’s worse than their bogeyman scare tactic of “fragmentation?” Apple’s answer to those people holding on to older generation of technologies: NO SUPPORT!

    I would much rather put up with fragmentation than to have my support dropped way too early in a products life cycle. At least even Microsoft offers a 10 year life cycle for Windows, still supports Zune users, supports original Xbox 360 owners, & does a decent job of giving people years of enjoyment of their devices. Apple cuts people off like they cut off Power-PC users who bought new devices in early to mid 2006 & have been abandoned for quite sometime. Even though many of those PowerPC’s are probably functional to this very day.

    Right now Google & Microsoft are laughing all the way to the bank on this one. It’s a nice scare tactic but it doesn’t work. Next!

    • hoodrat

      No support for older technology? Kind of like how my 1-year-old Sprint Epic 4G will probably never get another Android update?

      If you bought a Power-PC based Mac in early-mid 2006 then you probably weren’t paying attention at all…mid-2005 is when the switch to Intel was announced.

  • TS75

    This is what Apple is trying to say really:

    Kindle Fire will not stop iPad’s sales really. Both are different devices. I would say Kindle Fire is more like iPad Lite. Yes 200 price is a big selling factor but you are losing quite a few things for that full tablet experience (Bigger Screen, More Storage, Camera, Videos, Video Editing, Video Chat, Apps specific for tablet experience, Better Office document editing, Backup with PC, Maps, 3G apps and all other technologies like voice search & talk back, NFC).

    In fact what Apple is trying to say as an underline message is Kindle Fire will in fact actually put a dent on other Android Tablets. I am not saying Android Tablets will not sale at all but their sales are going to suffer. For the media consumption usage, if one is getting apps and full media from Amazon Store then this is more than sufficient reason for an average consumer to lean towards Kindle Fire over expensive Android Tablets. Also if these average consumers have little more money, they will probably lean towards iPad for two reasons – missing features mentioned above and of course best of both world experience over android tablets.

    Media Consumption device’s two biggest selling factors are – how big the ecosystem is and unified experience. Apple has both cards (on any of their devices – iPad, iPod Touch, Mac), Amazon got Amazon app store and Kindle Store to take advantage of their ecosystem and also provide unified experience.

    At the end of the day, a retired teacher from Cheyenne Wyoming doesn’t care, doesn’t know and doesn’t want to know anything about long specs sheet for a media consumption device. All she cares is, will I able to take my device easily anywhere and use it without worrying much to get fluid user experience.

    • someone

      What missing apps? The fire is running Android. Any of those functions you say are missing are really just a download away.

      Let’s be honest here. Most people use their tablets for game playing. They won’t miss any of those features, especially considering they’ll probably have a phone with said capabilities with them anyway

      • TS75

        There are apps which are applicable for device specifics. Try downloading Google Wallet on a device which doesn’t have NFC. If any app uses camera functionality, they won’t be available on Kindle Fire. Any app uses 3G chipset, they won’t be available. Any app uses Gyroscope (Not sure if Kindle Fire has one as they didn’t mention about it) won’t be available. Any app uses your photo gallery won’t be available.

        I am not here to bash you with anything. I am telling you for 200$ you are getting what 200$ really have to offer. It is not a bargain at all. For normal games it should suffice. But if you really want to play powerful games, you may be out of luck.

        And I haven’t even mentioned of multi-tasking, personalization, wallpapers, etc. It run barebone android device. Kindle Fire is a minimalist Tablet Period.

        • Ramshambo2001

          The kindle fire is a pure consumption device.

          This is what was intended for the iPad as well. All of this other “stuff” they’ve tacked on doesn’t matter and doesn’t sell the tablet, it’s just extras that a minority of the users use. I mean seriously you can say the iPad has a camera, but it’s pretty awful.

          Watching videos, listening to music, browsing the web, playing games, and reading books are what tablets do best and it’s what sells them.

          It is a great bargain, with the texas instruments dual core processor you have in there you will be able to handle any game the iPad 2 can. The graphics performance is negligible enough the general public won’t even notice.

          “multi-tasking, personalization, wallpapers” Android supports multitasking. All the iPad has in the way of customization IS wallpapers.

          • TS75

            ““multi-tasking, personalization, wallpapers” Android supports multitasking.”
            ==> I don’t think you are understanding here. It is a dumb down version of android. In fact you won’t see any android menu anywhere. The Kindle interface doesn’t support multi-tasking in a way unlike Android does. You swipe, and tap Home icon and you are back to Home screen. The app goes into your recent list section and you start all over again. They are running android just to run apk apps under the shell.

            “Watching videos, listening to music, browsing the web, playing games, and reading books are what tablets do best and it’s what sells them.”

            ==> You can’t upload music from your pc. Everything is wireless and need to be bought from amazon.

    • Bob,Boulder, Colorado

      Kindle fire has everything an Ipad has , except it is smaller and is way cheaper. Ordinary consumers don’t care for garageband.

      • TS75

        Yes for some part, you can suffice. But saying Kindle Fire has everything an iPad has is not a correct statement at all to begin with.

        There are apps which are applicable for device specifics. Try downloading Google Wallet on a device which doesn’t have NFC. If any app uses camera functionality, they won’t be available on Kindle Fire. Any app uses 3G chipset, they won’t be available. Any app uses Gyroscope (Not sure if Kindle Fire has one as they didn’t mention about it) won’t be available. Any app uses your photo gallery won’t be available.

        And I haven’t even mentioned of multi-tasking, personalization, wallpapers, etc. It runs bare bone android device. Kindle Fire is a minimalist Tablet Period. Not all iPad apps are available on amazon app store to begin with. You can’t upload your music from your pc to the Kindle Fire. You probably will need to buy the music from Amazon mp3 store. There is no PC syncing here to upload music from your PC.

        I am not here to bash you with anything. I am telling you for 200$ you are getting what 200$ really have to offer. It is not a bargain at all.

    • Darkseider

      Umm… yeah… no… yeah, no… no….

    • muadhnate

      Sorry, but I doubt people are going to want to pay $300 more for a camera and a 3″ bigger screen. Storage doesn’t matter since everything will be in the cloud.

      I’ve seen people with ipads and this whole notion of using it as a productivity device is mostly BS. If they do have them in lecture, (like everyone with a laptop) they’re playing games or surfing the web. Tablets, phones are nothing more than consumption devices- things used to kill time. Amazon knows that and that’s what their device is- a pure media experience with an opportunity to download productivity apps to take notes once in awhile. It’s a smaller, cheaper version of the ipad without a camera.

      When people need to get that term paper done or that graphic design project, they’re not whipping out their ipad; they’re using a notebook/desktop.

      • muadhnate

        FYI- Amazon will have Kindle specific android apps. That’s what they told developers. So the end user won’t know about camera specific apps since he won’t have access to it. You won’t miss what you don’t know about.


    They keep holding onto the same ‘old arguments – all while android just keeps growing in market-share.. The fire runs android apps and they have already announced this and will continue to promote their app store of ANDROID APPS.. As long as amazon keeps the kindle compatible with Android apps – it will benefit android.. an app developed for the fire is an app for everyone else running Android.. So what if they are putting a shell on top of gingerbread, i bet they update that thing to ICS when its source is available w/ their customize shell ontop of it – keeping it compatible with the latest apps that require ICS.. the FIRE will be the end of the iPad hype, and force apple to once again come up with some device that they tell everyone is “magical” – if you read the news, it could be a TV.. yah.. good luck with that.. 1 size tv for everyone ;) lmao.

  • blkidea

    Apple should STFU and get to fixing their battery drain problem… wait is that still a non-issue just like the death grip was? SMH….

  • muadhnate

    Am I the only one who understands fragmentation to mean when manufacturers of android devices do not update all of their devices to the latest version of android?

    Considering that Amazon only has one Kindle android based device, why would they risk upsetting their customer base by not upgrading it, if appropriate? They’re just like Apple in this regard. They have a minute number of devices that are specific to their company, so updating won’t be a problem. Android’s the backbone, but this OS gui is ALL Amazon.

    Despite all their money, Apple is just mad that they always manage to come in at #2.

    “Second place is just the first place loser.”

  • pritams

    Apple is for losers..