Amazon’s Kindle Fire is going to burn Android

Me, on Techradar:

In times of great excitement, I like to paraphrase Noddy Holder – and today is one of those times. Ready?

So here it is, Merry Christmas

Everybody’s Having Fun

Apart from all the Android firms

Who are probably chucking themselves off bridges right now

15 thoughts on “Amazon’s Kindle Fire is going to burn Android

  1. Hunnymonster says:

    Me too – but already have a 10 incher so less bothered. It’s a highly aggressive pricing strategy which I think will pay Amazon dividends both in the mass market and for the techy bods that root it and put vanilla AOSP Android on it.

  2. Hunnymonster says:

    Well – to be fair nobody knows the economics for sure – only some guesses (admittedly educated ones) at the individual component costs and the assembly costs – but if you have a decent set of buyers (and I doubt Amazon’s buyers are amateurs at buying) looking for enormous volumes then even the lowest previously envisaged price can always be driven down further… shave 1c off any individual part and that’s $10,000 to the good if you’re talking million-up prices.

  3. Squander Two says:

    Well, if they are selling them at a profit, it’s negligible, so the point is the same: they’re selling them to make it easier to sell more content. And once they’ve decided to go down that route, why on Earth would they sell at a profit when they have the scope to undercut the competition even more?

  4. Hunnymonster says:

    I don’t dispute that, but they’re seemingly there for the long haul – who thought that the Kindle would be a success back when it originally came out, ostensibly tied to a single source and not that much content available and a high opportunity cost to acquire the hardware.

    At the end of the day the availability of the content will make or break it – if it goes the same way as books, Amazon will have the content (or at least enough of it to make it an attractive proposition) – if the content is held in exclusive deals elsewhere then the consumer will be the one to suffer as he has either less choice on the one platform he’s put the coin down on or will have to acquire multiple platforms (more coin) to acquire the range of content.

    Of course all this pre-supposes that we have the capacity to actually acquire the content in a reasonable timeframe – I personally know at least a dozen people (mostly located in the Hime Kineties – so not the far end of nowhere) that barely have broadband capable of delivering MP3 files in a timely fashion (real-time audio streaming is a far-off pipedream for them)

  5. Gary says:

    We are, of course, talking about a firm that spent years losing 30% on every order it shipped in order to build market share. Bezos isn’t scared to put his firm’s money where its mouth is :)

    > why on Earth would they sell at a profit when they have the scope to undercut the competition even more?

    I think this is an Apple-y play: generate economies of scale so huge, and negotiate with suppliers so hard, that you can make margin on a price your rivals can’t match without losing money. Amazon’s currently focused on content, definitely, but I suspect the goal is to make a profit on the hardware too.

  6. Gary says:

    > if the content is held in exclusive deals elsewhere then the consumer will be the one to suffer

    Yes, definitely. We saw that with DRM and legal music, way back when. A lot of people got burned when their chosen providers shut up shop.

  7. Gary says:

    Just thinking about the bandwidth availability thing: we also live in a country where most broadband is capped. Capped broadband, slow downloads and even slower uploads don’t exactly create the perfect climate for cloud-based anything.

  8. Gary says:

    One more and I’ll stop :) Today’s juicy rumour is that Amazon might buy WebOS. Things could get very interesting if that happens.

  9. Squander Two says:

    They’re promoting the new Kindle hard at their .co.uk site at the moment. Can’t see those sales doing much till details of the Fire’s UK release are confirmed.

    Similarly, what’s the point buying the Android-based Fire if Amazon are about to buy WebOS?

  10. Gary says:

    I don’t think there’s much correlation between tablet customers and e-reader customers. I’ve got both, as does David – different usage cases. Tablets are awful e-readers IMO, good for magazines but rubbish for long reads.

    > what’s the point buying the Android-based Fire if Amazon are about to buy WebOS?

    Apple will one day ship an iPhone 11 and an iPad 8. Why buy a iPhone 4 or iPad 2 now :)

    Rumour factory says the real kindle tablet is next year’s model, and I’d imagine that any WebOS model would take some time to appear. Hardware matters less with a cloud OS anyway – all your stuff’s on amazon, not the device, so there’s built-in future proofing.

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