Kindle Fire vs. iPad: 5 Reasons Why Amazon’s Tablet Is No iPad Killer

Amazon’s Kindle fire was named a potential iPad killer when it was just a vague rumor, but based on the price and specs, Amazon’s entry into the tablet world may have a different target in mind.

The Kindle fire is impressive. At $199 and including a 7″ IPS full color touchscreen, a dual-core processor and a brand new interface running on top of Google’s Android operating system, it’s a sure bet that the Kindle fire will fair much better than other Android-based tablets. But while it will become the most popular Android tablet, don’t expect it to make a dent in iPad sales.

The Kindle fire lacks the iPad’s app ecosystem

The same thing working against the other Android tablets is working against the Kindle fire. the iPad’s success was predicated on a healthy app store that built up for years around the iPhone. While Android boasts a lot of apps, it simply doesn’t have the quality or the vast variety found in Apple’s App Store.

Amazon hopes to change this with their own Amazon Appstore, which puts apps through similar quality control, but until now, there’s been very little reason for Android users to even care about Amazon’s Appstore.

Don’t expect to get work done, play games, make music or watch on your TV

The Kindle fire is designed as a media consumption device, which means it will be great at reading books, watching video and browsing the web. But the iPad is much more than just a device for watching Netflix and listening to Pandora. Apple’s iWork suite brings word processing, spreadsheets and presentations to the iPad, and a growing number of businesses are finding ways to introduce the iPad into the workplace.

At home, the iPad makes a great gaming device. But don’t expect to fill up the Kindle fire with games like Dungeon Hunter 2. the 540 MB it takes to store one of the best RPGs on the iPad will take a huge chunk out of the rather limiting 8 GB in storage offered by the Kindle fire. Amazon’s tablet might be fine for Angry Birds, but once you get outside of casual games, it’s not going to light the gaming world on fire.

And there is so much more that the iPad can do that makes it such a “magical device”. Love music? Between Garage Band, which puts a studio full of instruments on your iPad, and cool accessories like iRig, which lets you plug your guitar into your iPad, Apple’s tablet can be a musician’s best friend. Tired of watching shows on a little screen? You can even connect your iPad to your TV and watch them on your 42″ screen.

Don’t leave home with it…

There are some devices that come with the mantra “don’t leave home without it.” But unless you are hitting the local coffee shop, don’t expect the Amazon Kindle fire to give you the same experience once you walk outside the door. Amazon’s “iPad Killer” does not have 3G, so you’ll find yourself somewhat limited when you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.

This is even more limiting when you consider Amazon is touting the cloud capabilities for the Kindle fire. One reason Amazon is giving for the limited storage space is the ability to store books, music and video on the cloud. But the cloud isn’t available without Internet access, which means anything you have on Amazon’s cloud storage won’t be available for that family road trip or when you are out camping.

What you see is what you get

The Amazon Kindle fire doesn’t have a lot of extras packed into it. Along with the limited storage space and the lack of 3G, the Kindle fire also lacks Bluetooth support and doesn’t have a camera. there was also no mention of a gyroscope, an accelerometer or all of the other little extras we’ve come to take for granted on our iPad.

In other words, don’t expect to jam out with wireless headphones. and if you are really into augmented reality, you’ll have to look for something different. Love racing games? Don’t expect to use it as a steering wheel.

The Amazon Kindle fire is aimed at the Barnes & Noble Nook

The biggest reason why the Kindle fire won’t make a dent in iPad sales is that it simply isn’t aimed at the iPad. It’s taking aim at the Barnes & Noble Nook. Both devices share similar features, such as 7″ color touchscreens and an Android-based operating system. they each lack 3G, Bluetooth and cameras. and they are both in the same price range, with the Nook Color’s $249 likely to decrease once the $199 Kindle fire is available.

Don’t get me wrong: Amazon’s Kindle fire is going to sell millions of units. the real question is how many of those buyers would have ever purchased an iPad. Amazon’s tablet is a great step for people who love their eReader but don’t want or need the “full tablet experience”. It’s also great for those who find the iPad’s $499 entry price to simply be too steep.

But the core iPad user? in the first few months after the iPad 2 went on sale, the $824 iPad 2 3G w/64 GB was the most popular model, beating out the entry level iPad 2 Wi-Fi w/16GB by a decent margin. this tells us two things: iPad’s core demographic find storage space and 3G capabilities important and they are willing to spend money to get the device they want.

The Amazon Kindle fire is going to be a hit. But its going to be a hit as an eReader with expanded media consumption capabilities rather than a full-fledged tablet.

In short, Amazon is aiming to sell us books, music and movies. Apple is aiming to replace the personal computer.

Is the iPad a PC?

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