Amazon attacks iPad mini, forgets Kindle Fire is useless in most countries

Amazon attacks iPad mini, forgets Kindle Fire is useless in most countries

While announcing their Q3 numbers yesterday, Amazon took the opportunity to take a few shots at Apple and the newly announced iPad mini. Amazon listed what they think are key advantages for their Kindle Fire HD over the iPad mini, including higher screen resolutions, better speakers, and lower cost. This, perhaps, to help distract from the loss Amazon suffered during the quarter. Here's the checklist courtesy of Amazon's press release:

Compared to the iPad mini, Kindle Fire HD 7” has:

  • 30% more pixels (1,024,000 vs. 786,432 pixels)
  • 33% more pixels per inch (216 vs. 163)
  • Watch HD movies and TV – cannot on iPad mini (iPad mini is an SD device)
  • Better audio with dual stereo speakers and Dolby Digital Plus
  • Wi-Fi with dual band, dual antennas + MIMO
  • Costs $130 less

Amazon posted a $28 million operating loss last quarter, and they expect losses for next quarter as well. This isn’t good news. Neither is Amazon is bringing specs to an experience fight, a strategy that has proven catastrophic for every other iPad competitor in the history of iPad competitors. The Kindle Fire HD is particularly amusing here for a couple of reasons.

First, it's not a tablet. It's a media appliance, a front-end for the Amazon store with great shopping software and middling everything else. Second, because of that, it's barely more than a paperweight outside the small handful of countries in which Amazon sells it.

The iPad mini is a full tablet, available in 90+ countries, with the best tablet software in the industry, and over 250,000 tablet class apps.

So, as they say, good luck with that Amazon.

Source: Amazon Media Room>

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Amazon attacks iPad mini, forgets Kindle Fire is useless in most countries


I was going to say that Amazon sells theirs at a loss right out of the gate. The same thing Sony did with the PS3 for years until it finally broke even with manufacturing costs 3 years later.

I don't understand what this bold man is so fking HAPPY about.... YA....WE... LOST.. LOTS of $$$....YA .... SO ...LETS LOSE....MORE of $$$.... YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHA

So is the regular iPad. The hardware is not what differentiates the size, it is the software and the user interface. iPad software, which runs on the iPad mini tends to have UIs that can show multiple views at once, i.e. a list view and a map view side by side. The iPod Touch is small so it tends to only be able to show a single view at once.

I saw a 7" Android tablet in the wild on an airplane the other day, and it was easy to see that most of the software on it was just scaled up phone software, which is to say single view software. Needless to say, it really wasted a lot of the screen real estate that was available.

Actually Amazon ships the Kindle to more than 100 countries worldwide and their whispernet services can be accessed in most of those countries. The iPad on the other hand has no whispernet to speak of, and it's limited to LTE, 3G or wi-fi. The Kindle Fire is available in Europe now, and Amazon is planning to expand that list.

It's really lame to use the specs x usability argument every time a competitor has a better product, but showing off specs whenever Apple has the upper hand. When Apple talk about iMacs or Macbooks, all we hear is specs, so let's be clear that specs matter and vendors should use them.

Last but not least, this "just an Amazon storefront" argument is getting old. The Kindle HD is perfectly able to run Android apps and there are thousands of them on the Amazon app store. It is as much a storefront to Amazon as the iPad is a storefront to Apple, and no one rubs that in our face all the time, both use the proprietary store model.

It's not too late to remember that Apple just missed their earnings call due to lower than expected iPad sales, so let's keep the hubris in check for now.

Yeah, but I am going to bet that apple missed it because of all the leaks of iphone 5 and ipad mini. Lost of people waited as I waited to buy a device until this announcement to see what the mini was going to be like and I bet gazillions of other people did as well. Now I can make an informed decision and you can bet your butt that apple will do well in Q4.

I have no idea how many countries it is available in... but if I didn't have a US account, it would be fairly useless here in Canada (for example). I can't imagine those other 98 countries you're talking about would be much better.

I'm an international customer and I have bought plenty of books at Amazon with no US address, delivered to my country. I also subscribe to magazines through Kindle and read them on my iPad.

I thought a US address is needed to initially setup the account. But, I'm not sure, as mine were already setup when we lived in the US.

Missing an earnings call only means they missed another person's opinion of where Apple should be. No one can tell what the future holds. It's a simple truth. Even Apple can't tell the future, given their missteps with Mobile Me, antenna, maps, Newton.

I have to agree that the general tone is much more mature on the other sites mentioned (and criticism of Apple products is usually delivered tongue-in-cheek). I notice the fanboy hate much more in the forums here (where it's frankly expected to some degree), but it's kind of sad to see it passing for journalism, too.

To be fair, writing for a blog doesn't necessarily make you a "journalist". Any idiot man-child with a thesaurus and a Wordpress account can manufacture an article/opinion and attempt to pass it off as journalism.

@ lungho -
Maybe, maybe not, but how does this differ from 90% of what is written and published in some manner, whether the writer has official 'journalist' credentials or not? The bar isn't all that high. :)

I wholeheartedly 100% agree with you. Journalism as a whole is in a pretty bad state these days.

"with the best tablet software in the industry"

That's where you lost me.

It is surely not the best, but I would be willing to say the one with the most continuity. I would go with Android 4.1.2 over iOS any day. They both have their pluses and minuses, and I do lament that any Kindle Product is going to have a very skinned version of Android, but both devices can be jailbroken (rooted) so that they can be used more optimally.

So perhaps right out of the box the iPad mini is "better" in that sense, but the Kindle has more potential.

New to this site, interesting to see straight up hate to close the article, feels like a tech version of Fox News; I'm apparently lost in the No-Spin Zone

Maybe it is just that I haven't used Jelly Bean yet, but the previous versions were not even close to iOS. (I'll have to ask my friend what he was running when I visited a couple months back.)

I am a member of CB, and also on Android Central.
While there, they defends their OS/platform well, here, is so much filled with Fanboism.
Don't get me wrong, the amount of fanboism is strong over there too, but the members seems acknowledge it. But not on iMore.