Amazon Lights a Fire Under the iPad

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In the six months since its release last holiday season, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has established itself as the bestselling Android tablet on the market. Currently holding a vast majority of Android tablet sales at 54.4 percent, the Fire seems to be the only tablet in a position to challenge Apple’s iPad. The iPad continues to control the tablet market overall, outselling all Android models combined, but the low price point and availability of the Kindle Fire have created a foothold in a market that seemed to lack competition.

With an introductory price of just $199, the Kindle Fire has provided an affordable starting point for customers looking to explore tablet computer technology. Compared to the $399 starting price tag for the iPad, purchasing the Fire is a much easier decision for consumers who are not fully sold on the tablet movement. The Fire may lack some of the features and higher specifications of the iPad—most notably the built-in camera and 3G service—but the sales speak for themselves. The success of the newer, smaller tablet has shown that consumers are interested in the growing table market, so long as the price is right.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has a different view on the Kindle Fire’s sudden appearance on the scene. Earlier this year Cook stated that while a cheaper product would move a larger number of units, Amazon’s product would lack longevity without the added features. Of course, Amazon isn’t totally new to portable technology. The Fire is the third release in the Kindle series, with the first two devices being devoted to eBook readers. Amazon seems ready to take on the iPad with its current design, hoping to succeed where major companies including Samsung and Motorola have failed.

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