Digital design and other shiny toys

Kindle Fire – the real content consumption device?

Posted on by Paul

When the iPad appeared there were dismissive comments about it being a ‘content consumption’ only device, suitable for reading, web browsing and so on, but not for creative work. That was untrue, but maybe the strength of the new Kindle Fire tablet will be that it really is a device for the content consumer, backed up by a tried and tested online store. Amazon marketing for the previous Kindle focussed on the ease of reading, wide choice of ebooks and speed of delivery. Now they have a device which offers this, but also hooks into their video streaming service and has a more intuitive interface. Add web browsing, email and a carefully managed selection of apps and it could be a winner. However, bright LCD screens really aren’t good for reading lots of text, so if you’re looking for a book reader it’s probably best to stick with the e-ink devices. Or buy both types of Kindle, which is what Amazon really wants.

It’s interesting that Amazon aren’t pushing the fact that the Kindle Fire uses Android. It’s being sold on what it does, not the underlying OS. The average consumer doesn’t care about technical details, and Amazon knows this. It’s all about selling content.

Of course, this is all speculation and it will be ages before we see the Kindle Fire in the UK.

Update: The first reviews are appearing and agree that the Kindle Fire is a media consumption (and buying) device first, general purpose tablet second. The small display and sluggish performance may be a problem, but hopefully software updates will improve the latter.

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