Amazon jumped onto the Android Bandwagon recently with their e-reader/tablet hybrid called the Kindle Fire. The Fire runs Android 2.3 and has its own browser (Silk), App store and full blown Kindle functionality. And to make the deal sweeter it costs $199. There must be a catch somewhere, right?
We earlier blogged about how early versions of the Kindle Fire were having WIFI issues. Amazon had countered this by saying that they will be releasing an update that counters this. Now more discontentment about this device have been unearthed.
Many Kindle Fire users are very displeased with the product and are sending it back to the retailer. More device problems have come to our notice which include the power button getting accidentally pressed due to poor positioning, no external volume controls, poor website load times and lack of privacy, parental controls and poor touchscreen response to name a few. These are are glaring holes in the product line.
According to Usability expert, Jacob Nielsen of Nielson Norman Group, a Silicon Valley Consulting Firm, “I feel the Fire is going to be a failure. I can’t recommend buying it.” These are pretty strong statements and represent the anger the users are feeling about this device being not up to the mark. Amazon’s Kindle forums have been flooded with complaints since the device started shipping. Amazon has reassured the users that all these complaints will be fixed ASAP with an OTA (Over The Air) update.
So let us consider what the Kindle Fire means to Amazon. Amazon has seen booming business in its retail sector and then they ventured into electronics by developing and selling the Kindle readers which were very popular. With the advent of tablets like iPad and other Android tablets, Amazon was forced to release Kindle apps for these platforms so that they would not lose out on the prospective customers on these platforms. So their entire Kindle platform became redundant.
To counter this threat they have come up with the Kindle Fire which both a Tablet and a Kindle reader. They have been supporting this product of theirs by introducing new services like Cloud Music Player and their own version of the Android App store. Amazon is actually producing Kindle Fire at a loss so that they can ensure that they get a slice of the tablet pie. Hence the cheap pricing. This is all good and very competitive but that does not mean that the device has to be substandard. Amazon should take care of the kinks in the device and get a more polished device rolling soon.
Considering the issues the Kindle Fire has, would you go ahead and buy it considering its price point?