Here's the holiday question everyone will be asking: now that Amazon has an Android tablet that can play movies, games, music, and color e-books for less than half the price of an iPad, is Apple's tablet in danger this holiday season?
In short: no, not yet--at least, that's my opinion.
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However, I would expect Amazon's super-Kindle to be one of the most compelling tablet purchases next to Apple's own iPad, and the reason has to do with comfort. Here's why.
Brand recognition Amazon has a big thing going for it with the public's identification with the Kindle. However, Apple's iPhone/iPad recognition is even bigger. Amazon's branding alone will comfort the tablet-apprehensive and lead more people to consider color tablets as e-readers.
Price This is obvious, but the Kindle Fire's barn-burning price of $199 is $300 less than an entry-level iPad, which could be a huge factor for cash-pressed shoppers--or any shopper, really. We don't know the full extent of what the Fire can do, yet, but its apps, games, media playback, and portability could offer up more than enough value for the dollar for many.
Changing the definition of tablet Amazon will likely continue what Barnes and Noble started with the Nook Color: labeling tablets as evolved e-readers rather than laptop alternatives. It's a fine point, but $199 is more of a gadget impulse buy than the computer-level $499 start price of an iPad. If Amazon's Fire succeeds, then in a year or two we may be defining tablets in terms of a different price expectation.
However...keep in mind these considerations, too, which still play in Apple's favor. … Read more