Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thought Of The Day: Kindle Fire vs. Apple iPad

It's not fair to compare the Kindle Fire and the Apple iPad. I think everybody knows that the iPad is a much better tablet computer. But the Fire costs $199 while the iPad starts at $499.

The real questions are:

Is the iPad two-and-a-half times better than the Fire?

Which should you buy?

The answer to the first question is no, the iPad is not 2.5 times better than the Fire. The iPad might--maybe--be twice as good as the Fire. My non-expert opinion is that the iPad is around 60% to 75% better. What that means is that the iPad is a significantly better tablet computer, but the Fire has a significantly better value.

And it shouldn't surprise you that the Fire has a better value because Amazon takes a loss on each Fire sold. I've seen some estimates that say the total loss to Amazon per Kindle Fire is between $50 and $75. They're hoping to make up for that with electronic media sales.

The iPad, on the other hand, has a 100%-200% markup, depending on exactly which one you buy.

Amazon did something smart when they were developing the Fire. They conducted surveys of tablet users (mostly iPad users) to find out which features were most and least used, and also which features were most and least duplicated with other devices that the tablet users owned. Features that were least used and most duplicated were not included. Features that were most used and least duplicated were absolutely included.

The Fire has all of the essential features you'll use often and none of the features that might seem nice to have but you'll never actually use. That keeps the cost low and operations simple.

The answer to the second question is personal; however, you likely already know the answer. Those that can purchase an iPad without thinking twice about the cost will do so. Those that are budget-minded--those that would miss an additional $300 (minimum) gone from their bank account--should strongly consider the Fire.

The iPad is like a Lexus, while the Fire is like a Kia.

With regard to photography, the iPad has a built-in camera, while the Fire does not. Apple has created some pretty good post-processing software for your images, while Amazon has no need for that software because there is no camera. So, speaking strictly photographically, the iPad is the clear choice.

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