Is The Kindle Fire A Real Competitor To Apple’s iPad? [Reader Poll]

Is The Kindle Fire A Real Competitor To Apple’s iPad? [Reader Poll]

Yesterday, Amazon announced what is likely the first and only true alternative to the iPad in the Kindle Fire, a $199 Android-based tablet smartly tied into Android rich cloud ecosystem of games, apps, books and video on demand.

No matter how you slice it, the Kindle Fire is the first tablet to really understand that most of what makes a mobile device isn’t just hardware or an off-the-shelf operating system, but a library of easily-accessed contents. It’s not just the apps, it’s the movies, it’s the music, it’s the magazines, it’s the ebooks. And Amazon is going to provide these things for $300 less than Apple does.

So now that all the dust has settled, we want to know what you think: does Apple have anything to worry about from the Kindle Fire, or is this less a fire than a bunch of smoke?

[polldaddy poll="5544143"]

Let us know your answer in our poll after the jump, and feel free to expand upon them in the comments.

  • Chris

    it’s rather going to compete with the iPod Touch, as that one is even less suited for productive use than the iPad. But the new Kindle Fire is surely able to eat away a piece of the iPad pie, by people who want a pure media-consumption device

  • Jessie Robyn Yelle

    I forsee people buying it for the price, then later on looking at the iPad and going, “er, I really do want [mine] to do more…” and then going to Apple. 
    the Fire seems a good starter tablet for kids [or as a back-up on long trips].

  • imajoebob

    Anybody who considers an iPad mini would be introduced as a response to the Kindle, when was the last time Apple created a product that actually “competes” with something else?  Even when they enter competitive markets, they don’t release products that already exist.  What was the MAcBook Air’s competition?  The Mac mini?  The iPhone?  The iPad?  Cinema display? EVERY version of the iMac? The iPod?  Heck, even the iPod shuffle?

    Apple only enters unique (or nearly unique) niches, and then invites everyone else to compete with them.  Even if they do introduce a mini, it’ll probably cost at least $299, and will make every effort to NOT look like competition for Kindle.

  • Karras

    Well there is bound to be some crossover but I would suggest that much of the target audience is people who cannot or will not spend 500 bucks plus, or local equivalent, on a tablet. I reckon many of the remainder will be those with more specific requirements, such as pocketability. Then of course, there are those who have specific reasons for purchasing a larger, higher spec tablet, as well as those who buy Apple mainly for the name. Neither of these are all that likely to be won over by such a device.

    And reportedly they are not planning to release it outside of the US any time soon, if ever, so it is certainly not a threat on a global scale.

  • somedumbCanuck

    The Kindle Fire is non-existent outside of the USA and isn’t really even in the same product category. Next.

  • Jordan Clay

    It is going to be more of a casual tablet,  It won’t have the appeal of the iPad in business or in schools.  It will put a SMALL dent in the iPad sales of people that dont’ want to fully commit $500, and it will totally destroy all Android tablets

  • assb10yr5

    People will first have to shave their fingers to use this thing. Please give me a break. Amazon is known for cheap crappy hardware combined with equally crappy software. If mediocrity is what you aim for then go for the Kindle.

  • Andrew Shipman

    Way to write a Poll Questions/Answers

    So when did you stop  beating your wife?  A-I haven’t stopped
    B-None of your Business
    C-I stop several times a day (or Meals and Bathroom breaks)

  • MacGoo

    Zebras and penguins are black and white – situations rarely are. If you look at specs alone, sure, this is a cheaper piece of hardware running an untested version of Android. But when has Amazon given us a “crappy” piece of hardware before? The Kindle has been a runaway success. They most assuredly have the services to deliver in a way no other manufacturer (save Apple) can out of the box. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive that the combination of price point and services net this little tablet a better chance of success than anything thus far. I’m reserving judgement and hoping this introduces real competition into the marketplace. Then when I’m in the market for an iPad 4, I’ll be able to snag one for $300 or so, instead of $600.

  • George Wedding

    The Kindle Fire is more of a competitor to the iPod Touch rather than the iPad. But even then, why would anyone choose a Kindle fire?

  • djrobsd

    Based on the poll numbers, a lot of blind fanboys in this forum.  RIP 100% margins on iPad, Apple is going to have to lower the price of the iPad to even get people to think about buying them any more.  The only reason the iPad has done so well is there was no viable competitor.  This new Kindle changes the game.  $200-250 is the new price point consumers will be willing to pay for tablets, after all look how fast HP sold all their touch pads at $100-150.

  • Bill

    how come nobody is adding in the subscription fees. this thing is a SMALL electronic catalog  from amazon that YOU have to pay for  you can still shop amizon on your i pad and watch what you want on your soon to be announced apple tv

  • djrobsd

    Gosh have you even bothered to look at what this thing will do.  Out of the box, you’re going to get access to 10,000 movies and TV shows… Can Apple do that?  Nope.  Out of the box you’re going to get cloud-based caching of all web pages.  The result is people with an Ipad will be waiting 10 seconds for a page to load while people with the new Kindle are going to have already scrolled half way down the page… Sorry Apple you’re going to have to step up your game now.  

  • Wayne_Luke

    Looks like Apple believes that the iPod Touch is the answer to the Kindle Fire. Sure the screen is smaller but it can do everything the Fire can, including allow people to read Kindle books. The Kindle Fire will fill a need from people who want a tablet but can’t justify the cost of the iPad. In that respect Apple may lose some sales as those people might have saved their money to get the coveted device. However for people who want to do little more than media consumption, then the iPad is still the winner.

  • Aj Tk427

    BAhahahahaha, that’s rich.  What’s the app market place going to be like?  Scaled up Android phone apps since it won’t run Android tablet apps.

    Yes, the Kindle Fire is going to do well, probably the first tablet other than the iPad to do well, but it’s not going to destroy Apple’s iPad sales like you suggest.

  • Aj Tk427

    you ready to be paying $80.00 bucks a year for that?  The web caching, “oh dear god I’m quaking in my boots” you read the cult of mac site before me :(  I’m going to go wander over here out of wifi range to get a beer and continue to read the rest of the internet…

  • Aj Tk427

    Yah, one point that is sorely missed in most of the tech blogs right now.  This is a US product only, no Canada, No Europe, No Asia.. It’s going to do well in the US, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves people.

  • BT Hathaway

    Apple had to know that they had created room for a low end competitor and there isn’t a whole lot they can do about it now that Amazon has filled the void.

    As far as marketshare, I’m sure some Fire customers might have purchased an iPad eventually if nothing else ever came along, but overall the Fire will better meet the needs of the non-technical users who just want to get at content rather than App their way through life or create content and or communicate via email or video.

    Since I already have an Amazon account and quite a few Kindle books, I will probably get one as a “fourth” screen (which probably means I stop buying iBooks by the way) so that when I’m writing on the iPad I can look something up or transcribe contents (will we ever get cut and paste in these eBook apps?!?) from one tablet to another.

    From that perspective, they don’t overlap at all, they complement each other. And I certainly see the possibilities of students owning two or three Fires as content devices to allow viewing of multiple pages simultaneously from the same book or of viewing content from several sources at the same time while completing research. At $200 you can do that, not so much at the cost (and size) of an iPad.

    If I had to guess, I suspect the “tablet” market (not the old-concept, touch screened computer market, but the lower end media consumption devices we see today) is at least five times bigger than anyone has imagined up till now. 

    I can see a day a few years from now, when I own as many as a dozen Fires plunked down in designated spots for office and family and personal use. I will still have my iPad for more involved computing and communicating, but I will treat the Fires more like books I leave in strategic spots for when I need them.

    The only thing that’s missing is inductive charging so that I can lay the thing down and charge it without ever having to plug in a cord.

  • Finlay MacArthur

    I think they should rename the Kindle Fire, the Kindle Brick, looking at how thick it is…

  • tofukitty

    Apple should worry about their customers who are buying the iPad for content consumption only. Customers who are buying for producing music, drawing/painting, photo editing, video production ect. are not even going to consider the kindle because there are no apps for this type of work in android currently. Also the processor and ram do not seem well suited for this work on the kindle. So I do think the grandparent market is going to buy kindles though.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Kindle Fire = Large iPod Touch

    However, the small e-ink WiFi Kindles @ $79 definitely have a market for book/pdf readers.

  • baby_Twitty

    Did some specs check up;
    The kindle fire has NO 3G. NO cameras. NO mic. NO gyroscope. NO [insert your own ipad features]
    End of.

  • KateMacVerde

    Am I the only one who sees the Kindle Fire as a competitor to the Nook Color and leave it at that?

  • freerange

    The Fire in fact DOES NOT do 95% of what the iPad does – you’d have to be a complete moron to think so. 7″ display – big loser! No camera, no microphone, no FaceTime or VOIP, no access to hundreds of thousands of apps, no gyroscope, no 3G, no GPS. And why is it that every moron of a reviewer fails to recognize that the iPad has access to Apple’s complete ecosystem and digital media content PLUS all of the same Amazon media content and Amazon store as the Kindle Fire.

  • freerange

    Another clueless idiot who doesn’t understand apple or the market. The Fire is a tiny toy in comparison lacking major features and functions. It is also being sold at a loss. Great business model for others to follow into failure. You’re obviously a business genius.

  • Yyehheg

    let me say first I am a apple fan and I own various apple products, even though apple has a true lead on all competitors this kindle fire does have a big chance to hurt apple sales and this why, most people that buy ipads buy it for the media consumption only after they get it then they realize all the other possibilities of the device. and besides all that unless your a tech junkie you wont utilize most features anyway i’m actually happy all of this is happening apple is to arrogant for  their own good I don’t care how you say it when you hear the numbers 199 vs 499 most people are going to byte at 199 all day. it’s just common sense most people  are not tech junkies that is why amazon will win
     

  • Rrffecce

    I don’t care how you size it up apple have to be a little concerned and this why most of the population brought the ipad for consumption music, movies, etc the iphone helped that success but most people cannot afford ipads period. I understand the device can do all these things but lets be real when is the last time you purchased a device and you used ever single feature ? most people use the ipad on the toilet or around the house is that worth between 5 and 800 bucks ? amazon played their cards right on this one I love apple and all their products but you have to admit apple is a little big headed right now, just like they caught microsoft ,dell, sony etc sleeping I think amazon just caught them , they can try to play the ipad 3 shortage game like they did for the ipad 2 if they want they just better hope they sell enough to break even. 
     

  • aramishero

    Kindle Fire is not Apple iPad competitor… Kindle Fire is Android Tablet and Nook Color competitor. Apple iPad have nothing to worry about.

  • aramishero

    Apple just like those Branded brand like LV, Gucci, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Ferarri and etc… The brands with High End Quality and Name. Do you think this all branded brand will let those cheap brand beat? The answer is NO. Rich people will only buy and willing to pay for Branded and Quality products even many adult will buy this stuff for their better status. Cheap brand only for cheap and poor people that don’t even have money to pay for buy App in App Store and they are not potential customers for Developers making money… That’s why many Developers make Apps for iOS device not for Android. This is the Fact and truth.

  • Saturdayniteguy

    What does an average
    tablet buyer look for?

    - good browsing
    experience over WiFi

    - nice multi-touch
    experience and a smoother touch screen

    - check emails

    - ability to listen
    to their fav music

    - watch videos

    - read ebooks

    - and do all the
    above things in the comfort of his couch or outside like the campus/airports,
    etc freeing him from sitting in front of your desktop/PC

     

    Smart buyers do not
    care for the high-end hardware that a company tries to ‘up’ their specs just to
    compete with other tablets(and thereby ‘up’ their $$$). Its just that they
    should be able to do the above stuff at a very reasonable price. The amount of the
    dollar bills flying out of his pocket is also his biggest concern in this kind
    of economy.

     

    Keeping all this in
    mind, I think Amazon has hit the right chord with the average consumer who
    require a tablet. I think, one can experience all these with this new Kindle
    without shelling out a huge amount of money.

     

    I personally feel
    the iPad is over-priced for doing all the above listed basic tasks. Even iPad
    users do the above things most of the time. If i am able to do all these basic
    stuff at a lower price tag, why not go for it. I don’t care for the iPad’s dual
    camera which don’t even give me a picture quality as close as a still-digicam.
    I don’t care for the games that run on the iPads. Work is important so no time
    for gaming. More important is family that I spend my weekends with rather than
    spend time gaming. So Amazon’s Kindle is the one for me which lets me connect
    occasionally to the online world at a reasonable cost.

  • Jordan Clay

    Not a loss…costs about $150 to make.  Plus when they throw on a viable bookstore, a music store, plus videos,  they easily can make a profit.   Not to mention when people pay $79 to use half the services they will be more inclined to use the free 2 day shipping on Amazon as well.

  • Christopher K Rochelle

    No cameras, a big deal to many!!!!!

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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