Print 21 comment(s) - last by paoloberno.. on Oct 6 at 10:57 AM

Looks like's bargain pricing approach is paying off, early on

Is, Inc. (AMZN) new Kindle Fire Android tablet an "iPad killer"?  According to a leak, preorders reveal it could be, thanks to its budget price.

When it comes to the tablet market, the aspiration of every Android tablet maker is to create the "iPad killer".  Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) popular tablet still controls 63 percent of global sales.  Thus far many companies have had their designs touted as "iPad killers", but only Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (SEO 005930) has managed to come close to rivalling Apple in sales.  And Samsung's prospects of continuing to do so are in jeopardy thanks to a slew of lawsuits [1][2][3][4] [5][6][7] brought by Apple.

Amid this backdrop of high expectations and unfufilled hype, Inc. (AMZN) revealed last week its first entrant in the color multi-touch tablet market, the Kindle Fire.  It didn't take long after the unveil for the skepticism to set in.  Some pointed out that Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) had released a similar tablet (the Nook Color) almost a year ago.  And reports indicated that the Fire might be sold at a per-unit loss.  Boy Genius Report Editor-in-chief Jonathan Geller suggested during an appearance on CNBC on Wednesday afternoon, Amazon's new tablet "might not even really be an iPad competitor at all."  

And Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White summed up these sentiments, remarking that the device was "hardly an iPad killer", stating "We believe Apple’s long history as both a hardware and software company will continue to drive greater technological innovation in the tablet market versus Amazon. Also, the aesthetics of the Kindle Fire seem tired to us and clearly pale in comparison with the iPad 2."

If the aesthetics of the Kindle Fire pale in comparison to the attractive iPad, the iPad's price equally pales in comparison to the Kindle Fire's.  The Kindle Fire starts at $199 USD -- an unheard of price point for a modern tablet.  The iPad starts at $499 USD -- an extra $300 USD.

A leak published by CultofAndroid (the sister site to CultOfMac) indicates that the Kindle Fire has racked up 254,000+ preorders, just five days after the unveil.  The leak, which comes from Amazon’s availability look-up and SKU aggregator (ALASKA), is an early signal that's budget pricing strategy may be paying off.

Kindle Fire presales

Apple's iPad only mustered 300,000 sales on its first day, when it was released last year. has been sustaining an apparent preorder pace of 50,000 orders a day, or roughly 2,000+ orders an hour.  If it can keep this up it could easily pass the iPad in first day sales when it debuts on November 14.

To give just one more benchmark of how impressive this figure is, the Motorola Xoom reportedly only sold between 25,000 and 125,000 units in its first two months on the market. may have just doubled that with a month of preorders still left in store.

Sources: Cult of Android, Boy Genius Report

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Fire (on fire!)
By zolarkingofallmoney on 10/5/2011 10:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
The Ipad is a computer for those who could never use a regular one (grandparents, handicapped, etc) or for the computer literate it's 'just enough' of a 2nd computer.
The Fire is a media consumption device (like the ipod, remember those?) and it's going to sell like gangbusters.
I bought a B&N Nook and spent the time to root it. It's no ipad but it's perfect for what I need. That's going to be the ipads Achilles heel: people don't necessarily NEED all that an Ipad can do. Once you get past media consumption, email and social media stuff...well, how many apps are you using every day? 5? 10? Most use just a few. If B&N is smart, they'll lower their price and open the nook up even further. It may turn out that there is a larger market for these devices than the Ipad. In a recession 'good enough' may win the race. History shows us that 'cheaper' certainly helps a product hit critical mass with the public.

RE: Fire (on fire!)
By quiksilvr on 10/5/2011 10:07:11 AM , Rating: 2
If Barnes & Noble is smart, they need to come out with their answer to the Fire as soon as possible, because they only have a month left.

RE: Fire (on fire!)
By TakinYourPoints on 10/5/2011 6:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
B&N are kind of screwed. Even if they got the hardware specs up to snuff, the bigger issue is that they don't have the digital media infrastructure that Amazon does. Amazon is the only other major company aside from Apple that sells movies, music, books, and mobile applications from a unified storefront.

Then there are cloud services all on top of it. Amazon nailed this with the Kindle way back in late 2007, and both Amazon and Apple have robust cloud integration and streaming for their tablets. B&N again won't be providing for any of this.

RE: Fire (on fire!)
By nafhan on 10/5/2011 11:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
You don't really do a good job explaining why the Fire is not a computer, but the iPad is. Really, the tablet form factor in general is great for media consumption, and no better than functional for most other things.

Also, good enough - at a significantly lower price - pretty much always wins the race, especially in regards to computing.

RE: Fire (on fire!)
By TakinYourPoints on 10/5/2011 6:15:33 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, it isn't a capable device like the iPad and the screen is small, but oh man is it going to fly off the shelves for people who only want to consume video on something small.

Amazon nailed this where other Android tablet makers aren't. The integration of something like Amazon marketplace or iTunes combined with a total focus on UI and ease of use cannot be emphasized enough.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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