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Apple suggests that popular Kindle Fire will hurt Android

Thus far Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) has been the only Android tablet maker to make major inroads against the wildly popular Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPad's dominant market share.  But that situation is about to change thanks to Inc.'s (AMZN) new Android-powered Kindle Fire tablet.  Priced at $200 the tablet is the cheapest Android tablet to hit the market yet, and its specs are surprisingly respectable.  Driven largely by the attractive price, the tablet was registering pre-orders of 50,000 units a day in lieu of its November 15 launch.

Of all companies, you would think this would be most concerning to Apple.  However, Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes claims that Apple's top executives are entirely unphased by the Fire's success.

In fact, he says that in a recent meeting he had with Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer, he was told that Apple was pleased with the Kindle Fire's success, which they felt would fracture the Android market and solidify their lead.

He recalls:

While the pricing at $199 looks disruptive for what seems to be the iPad’s most important rising challenge, the Amazon Fire – it is important to note that it could fuel further fragmentation in the tablet market—given it represents yet another platform. While compatible with Android, the Apps work with Amazon products. The more fragmentation, the better, says Apple, since that could drive more consumers to the stable Apple platform. We believe that Apple will get more aggressive on price with the iPad eventually but not compromise the product quality and experience.

Usually when critics of Android talk about "fragmentation", they're referring to the fact that different handsets are running different version of the base OS tree, as Google Inc. (GOOG), the maker of Android, relies on carriers and hardware partners to push out updates (and some updates are compatible with older handsets for hardware reasons.

The "fragmentation" created by the Kindle Fire is a bit different.  The tablet does not run  a standard build of Android at all.  Amazon branched the OS before Android 2.1, and thus has written much of the interface itself.  It's added in multi-touch and a new browser.  
Kindle Fire in bag

Many argue this is a selling point.  Apple apparently thinks its disastrous for Android.  

Of course the Apple brass's objections could simply be sour grapes.  Some believe that in eschewing the baseline Android, Amazon made itself harder to sue -- Apple's favorite technique to try to stifle would-be Android competitors.

But with Amazon cranking up production and at least one analyst predicting sales of 5 million units this holiday season, we're guessing Amazon and Google aren't losing any sleep over the tablet's success.  Clearly, one man's fragmentation is another man's differentiation.

Source: Business Insider

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Competition is good.
By jmunjr on 11/3/2011 6:50:16 PM , Rating: 3
Competition is good, but I wish the populous was a little more technically adept since that would result in more demanding customers and better products in the marketplace...

RE: Competition is good.
By MechanicalTechie on 11/3/2011 6:53:09 PM , Rating: 5
I totally agree.. the world is dominated by techo-retards... its a little depressing at times

RE: Competition is good.
By retrospooty on 11/3/2011 11:05:10 PM , Rating: 5
sadly, this is not limited to tech. the world in general is dominated by retards.

- think about how stupid the average person is. now think, half of everyone is dumber than that guy. - George Carlin

RE: Competition is good.
By Bad-Karma on 11/4/2011 2:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
We should be nice and simply say they are "technologically impaired"


RE: Competition is good.
By inperfectdarkness on 11/4/2011 8:02:52 AM , Rating: 1
don't get me started. i'm still scratching my head on how wuxga lost out to 1080p. sheeple are retarded.

RE: Competition is good.
By icemansims on 11/4/2011 10:26:48 AM , Rating: 3
This one actually had a few good reasons. First 1080p comes off the tongue a lot easier than wuxga. Second, 1080p is simply cheaper for manufacturers to make. Third, it had to do with space and bandwidth. Bandwidth of transmission via cable, satellite signals, etc. Space in a disk, most particularly blue ray and the now defunct HD DVD.

RE: Competition is good.
By BansheeX on 11/4/2011 12:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
It also has to with what the optimal aspect ratio is for human field of vision. But yes, choosing 1080 over something higher was for bandwidth and manufacturing. And if pc monitors match televisions in aspect, you never have to worry about media recorded for one getting clipped or distorted when played back on the other.

RE: Competition is good.
By GuinnessKMF on 11/4/2011 11:28:18 AM , Rating: 3
I loved wuxga too, but it's pretty obvious why it lost out, simple economics, make the same panel for all the products in your portfolio and you save money. If you're "scratching your head" over this, then I believe you fall in the category we're talking about here.

RE: Competition is good.
By Shining Arcanine on 11/4/2011 11:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
I have the same problem. If I want WXUGA, then I need to buy an expensive Apple product.

RE: Competition is good.
By InternetGeek on 11/3/2011 7:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you two that it would help if the general tech level was a bit higher, but at the time, that might have also kept development in fluid UIs and such. My example being Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone). It multi-tasked, copy-pasted, used external storage, had GPS, allowed custom apps from the very beginning. But it was a pain to use. Maybe the technology wasn't there. Maybe it was, but the final implementation was not quite that good. It was decently good for us in the bleeding edge of mainstream society.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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