After much anticipation Amazon announced Kindle Fire, a 7’’ tablet that runs Amazon’s version of Android and costs only $199. This incredible price point, combined with its seamless integration with Amazon movie streaming and the Android app store makes it probably the most credible competitor to iPad so far. What will Kindle Fire mean for families, kids and education? Could Kindle Fire eventually be the ultimate kids educational and gaming platform?
Let’s look at the facts and examine what Kindle Fire has going for itself. The price point is extremely attractive, especially when families are buying these devices as supplemental, not primary computing devices. Seamless integration with Amazon e-books is also very attractive. iBooks provides similar functionality and I rarely, if ever, see my kid getting lost browsing selections from iBooks.
I also like the form factor and 7’’ display. iPod Touch and iPhone screens are sometimes too small for watching videos and definitely too small for reading. I love my iPad, but it is too precious, big and fragile to buy one for my kid. At 7’’ and 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire has a good form factor that’s more kid-friendly.
Amazon Kindle Fire currently does not have a camera, microphone nor 3G connection (just WiFi), and has only 8 gigabytes of internal storage. However this may be because Amazon wanted an extremely low entry price point, or they were rushing it for the Christmas season. In any case, expectation is that a more full-featured Fire tablet will be available in early 2012.
Yes, the selection of apps on Kindle Fire does not even compare to 100,000 iPad apps, but I think this is a platform that kids app developers definitely need to pay attention to. What do you think? Do you plan to buy Kindle Fire? Do you plan to develop for Kindle Fire? Do you think it is an iPad competitor, or I dare to say…iPad killer?