Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pricing Thoughts on the Kindle Fire vs the iPad

The new Amazon Kindle Fire.
Yesterday’s announcement of Amazon’s Kindle Fire ignited speculation that an iPad killer had finally arrived.  And, while the Kindle Fire isn’t likely to kill the iPad, it certainly is the first real competition to Apple’s dominance in the space.  The reason is obvious—the price!  The market saw first had how price plays into the tablet war when HP cleared out their TouchPad inventory at only $99 a unit.

To put it into perspective, compare a used iPad first generation to a new Kindle Fire.  Even when buying used, the first generation iPad will still set you back around $360, but a Kindle Fire is only $199 (the average price of a used Kindle starts at around $70).  Sure, the iPad is a superior product, but how many users truly rely on the iPad’s additional features like GPS, microphone, and Bluetooth?  According to a Business Insider Poll, most users are first browsing the web, emailing or on social media, watching videos or playing games.  These activities are all well suited for the Kindle Fire.  Plus, most tablet users are likely to have a smartphone with those features, more than compensating for Kindle Fire’s shortcomings (and heck, if you buy a new smartphone with a contract you can still afford a Kindle Fire the for less than the price of one new iPad2). 

So, what does this mean for you the consumer?  It means if you want a low priced tablet for web surfing, video viewing, and reading books, the Kindle Fire is a sure bet.  The price just can’t be beat.  If you need more computing power, however, pony up for a used iPad.  Buying used will still save you some money and you’ll get the features you need.

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