Tablets Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" might be the top competitor to iPad Air

iPad Air

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
229
49
SC, USA
I am getting a tablet and am holding the iPad rMini and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"(latest model) up as my two options at this point.

I know everything about the rMini. For the HDX, I have been on Amazon this morning checking the features/specs/reviews of the device. Wow, everything looks great! EXCELLENT Reviews! 2GB RAM for great multitasking. 2GHZ processor for excellent fluid performance, etc, etc.

I am a BIG Apple user/fan. I am actually leaning toward a non-Apple tablet!!:D

The Android App Store is growing too.

Call me a looser if you feel the need to.
 

eclipse01

macrumors 68030
May 16, 2011
2,522
271
Eau Claire, WI
I am getting a tablet and am holding the iPad rMini and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"(latest model) up as my two options at this point.

I know everything about the rMini. For the HDX, I have been on Amazon this morning checking the features/specs/reviews of the device. Wow, everything looks great! EXCELLENT Reviews! 2GB RAM for great multitasking. 2GHZ processor for excellent fluid performance, etc, etc.

I am a BIG Apple user/fan. I am actually leaning toward a non-Apple tablet!!:D

The Android App Store is growing too.

Call me a looser if you feel the need to.
biggest disadvantage to me for the Kindle is the modded stripped down version of android without the google play store, you would be surprised on how many apps are missing out of the Amazon store.
 

mclld

macrumors 68020
Nov 6, 2012
2,238
1,270
ugh@amazon's fork on android

My wife had an original fire and I was able to load the play store on it, maybe these new fire's have roms as well
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
biggest disadvantage to me for the Kindle is the modded stripped down version of android without the google play store, you would be surprised on how many apps are missing out of the Amazon store.
+1. Of course lots of folks root though.

Better bet is the G Pad 8.3. I have a very good feeling about this one to tell the truth. We'll see if it pans out as a sleeper since there is zero visibility most anywhere but here about that tablet.

And it's cheaper!!
 

zbarvian

macrumors 68010
Jul 23, 2011
2,004
2
If your mind is set on Android as a tablet OS, I would go for the gPad 8.3. The Amazon 8.9 doesn't by default have access to the Play Store, and it runs a highly modified version of Android that sort of negates all the advantages of Android. I still think the rMini is by far the best small tablet option right now besides the Nexus 7. Best hardware in its class, and the best apps, though it is a bit pricey (g Pad 8.3 is only $50 cheaper, though).
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,703
3,698
If your mind is set on Android as a tablet OS, I would go for the gPad 8.3. The Amazon 8.9 doesn't by default have access to the Play Store, and it runs a highly modified version of Android that sort of negates all the advantages of Android. I still think the rMini is by far the best small tablet option right now besides the Nexus 7. Best hardware in its class, and the best apps, though it is a bit pricey (g Pad 8.3 is only $50 cheaper, though).
Agree with much of this. If you live within the Amazon ecosystem, than the Fire HDX will serve you well, otherwise it's at a huge disadvantage to both iPads and other Android tablets. I have an iPad Air, a Nexus 7, and now a LG G Pad GPE edition, previously owned an iPad Mini and briefly a Note 10.1 (2014). If I could only use one tablet, It would probably be the iPad Air. That being said, if I could only use one Android tablet, it would most certainly be the LG G Pad GPE--terrific hardware, stock Android, expandable memory and still cheaper than the HDX. The HDX has it out spec'd but IMO it's lost on a device that's even more handcuffed than an iPad.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
Other than the Nexus 7, I think Amazon's tablets are the only true competitors to the iPad. Sometimes its not about the apps that the tablet offers, but the overall package.

The only thing I don't like is that Amazon Prime is pretty much useless outside the US. At least the movies/TV shows you buy on iOS can be streamed/downloaded from anywhere.

The 8.9" HDX looks fantastic as a movie watching device with some web browsing on the side.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
Spec wise the HDX tablets are nice. Unfortunately you have to be tied to the Amazon ecosystem which has grown recently and has made them compelling tablets. I personally own a Kindle Fire HD from last year and it's a nice tablet but i'm also an Amazon Prime member so watching movies, etc is easily integrated with the tablet.

If you have no desire for any of the above then I say go Nexus, ASUS or Samsung.

And the HDX is not a direct competitor to the Air because they run totally different OS's and ecosystem and each tablet goes for a target customer which tend to be polar opposites.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,703
3,698
And the HDX is not a direct competitor to the Air because they run totally different OS's and ecosystem and each tablet goes for a target customer which tend to be polar opposites.
Disagree. Based on your logic, Apple only competes with itself, Android with other Android tablets, Windows tabs only with other Windows tabs. Any tablets with the same intended use are competitors.

I'd contend that the iPad and Fire are actually the closest competitors. Both are designed primarily as media consumption devices using closed ecosystems geared toward steering the consumer to their own media content. The irony of the Fire is it's based upon an OS designed to be open and flexible yet is actually more restricted than Apple thanks to their skin and locking out the Google Play store.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
Disagree. Based on your logic, Apple only competes with itself, Android with other Android tablets, Windows tabs only with other Windows tabs. Any tablets with the same intended use are competitors.

I'd contend that the iPad and Fire are actually the closest competitors.
I think this analogy is best. Essentially it comes down to which ecosystem the user prefers, but either way you're locked in one.


My wife is an avid Kindle user. She's an online bargain hunter, plays a few games, and has an Amazon Prime membership for movies and shows and free shipping for her Amazon "finds". She by no means uses her devices for anything more than that. Like many Apple folks she's lusting for the latest Kindle device. They're clean, simple, and for her, who is a totally non-technical person it's the perfect device. Funny thing is that she's also an avid reader, and for that she uses a Kindle Paperwhite.

Plus on my side is that her birthday is in October so I always have a gift available because they generally release the new ones then, so this year was upgrade from an 8.9HD to an 8.9HDX. Having played with it, for what it is I agree I find it a bit restricted, but it really is a very nice device.
 

AppleRobert

macrumors 603
Nov 12, 2012
5,644
1,105
I think this analogy is best. Essentially it comes down to which ecosystem the user prefers, but either way you're locked in one.


My wife is an avid Kindle user. She's an online bargain hunter, plays a few games, and has an Amazon Prime membership for movies and shows and free shipping for her Amazon "finds". She by no means uses her devices for anything more than that. Like many Apple folks she's lusting for the latest Kindle device. They're clean, simple, and for her, who is a totally non-technical person it's the perfect device. Funny thing is that she's also an avid reader, and for that she uses a Kindle Paperwhite.

Plus on my side is that her birthday is in October so I always have a gift available because they generally release the new ones then, so this year was upgrade from an 8.9HD to an 8.9HDX. Having played with it, for what it is I agree I find it a bit restricted, but it really is a very nice device.
Problem is folks do not want to spend $379 AND not have access to the full Play Store without root. I say it will be discounted rather soon to tell the truth.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
Problem is folks do not want to spend $379 AND not have access to the full Play Store without root. I say it will be discounted rather soon to tell the truth.
Bingo !

That was exactly my point which was missed. The Kindle Fire tablets are NOT a direct competitor to the iPads because the Kindle Fire tablets block access to the all important Google ecosystem. The Kindle Fire's are just storefront devices to Amazon. And lets not forget the Amazon ecosystem is further more gimped because there are Apps which are updated on Google Play that are not updated as frequently on Amazon's ecosystem .

With that said I own Kindle Fire's and the new offerings by them are really nice tablets. I decided to skip this years upgrade and wait for next year.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
Problem is folks do not want to spend $379 AND not have access to the full Play Store without root. I say it will be discounted rather soon to tell the truth.
Some folks. You're on an Apple board, it's easy to make generalizations. If you peruse the Kindle forums most users are just fine with it. Just because it's an issue for you, doesn't mean it's an issue for others - broad stroke generalizations don't always work. People tend to vote popularity with their wallets, and the Kindle wouldn't be as popular as it is if it were as huge an issue as you make it out to be. Would it be more popular if you could get the Google store on it? More than likely yes, but the whole marketing point of the Kindle is that they sell it at cost to keep you in that ecosystem to offset that fact. Apple depends on their fanbase for profits and then beats the developers for 30% to market an app. Different models. But you are STILL locked into an ecosystem.
 
Last edited:

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,703
3,698
Problem is folks do not want to spend $379 AND not have access to the full Play Store without root. I say it will be discounted rather soon to tell the truth.
I'd wager the vast majority of Kindle Fire customers aren't even aware a Google Play store exists. And their customer's think root is the part of a plant that's beneath the ground. ;)

Bingo !

That was exactly my point which was missed. The Kindle Fire tablets are NOT a direct competitor to the iPads because the Kindle Fire tablets block access to the all important Google ecosystem. The Kindle Fire's are just storefront devices to Amazon. And lets not forget the Amazon ecosystem is further more gimped because there are Apps which are updated on Google Play that are not updated as frequently on Amazon's ecosystem .

With that said I own Kindle Fire's and the new offerings by them are really nice tablets. I decided to skip this years upgrade and wait for next year.
Guys, Amazon's target customers are EXACTLY like Apple's primary customers. They are probably oblivious to the existence of the Google/Android ecosystem and consequently don't care if they have access to Google Play because in their eyes, the Amazon app store is THE app store for their device. My sister and her family have Kindle Fires, so does my aunt. Ask them about the Google Play store and all you'll get is a quizzical look and "What's that?"

Readers of tech blogs and forums aren't their target customer--they don't want the customer who will root their device and hack it to do everything they can to avoid the Amazon ecosystem. They want the customer who will rent movies from them, buy books from them, get their music from them--exactly what Apple hopes an iPad buyer will do. They are essentially offering EXACTLY the same thing. I wager anything you like that the biggest consideration for most Amazon Kindle Fire buyers is whether to get that....or an iPad.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
I'd wager the vast majority of Kindle Fire customers aren't even aware a Google Play store exists.
I have to laugh at this.. I told my wife there was a discussion on here about the Kindle, with the biggest issue with being access to the Play Store.

"What's the Play store?? I can get all I need on Amazon" was the response.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
http://allthingsd.com/20110929/the-kindle-fire-isnt-an-ipad-killer-its-non-ipad-tablet-mauler/

September 29, 2011

“While Amazon’s price point, installed base, digital content and cloud ecosystem will attract a certain consumer demographic to the Kindle Fire, there is still no real competitor to the iPad 2,” Ticonderoga analyst Brian White said in a note to clients today. “Essentially, we believe the Kindle Fire addresses a different market than the iPad 2, a tablet-light user on a tight budget that may not have yet purchased a tablet or already use a Kindle. … It’s hardly an iPad killer.”

Nor does Amazon intend it to be one. As CEO Jeff Bezos said in a message to customers Wednesday, there are two approaches to the tablet market, and both can work. Apple has chosen one (feature-rich, powerful, high-end hardware tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem) and Amazon the other: (spartan, feature-limited hardware tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem).
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,703
3,698
I have to laugh at this.. I told my wife there was a discussion on here about the Kindle, with the biggest issue with being access to the Play Store.

"What's the Play store?? I can get all I need on Amazon" was the response.
Exactly the likely response you'll get from most Kindle buyers---and that's exactly the way Amazon wants it.

----------

http://allthingsd.com/20110929/the-kindle-fire-isnt-an-ipad-killer-its-non-ipad-tablet-mauler/

September 29, 2011

“While Amazon’s price point, installed base, digital content and cloud ecosystem will attract a certain consumer demographic to the Kindle Fire, there is still no real competitor to the iPad 2,” Ticonderoga analyst Brian White said in a note to clients today. “Essentially, we believe the Kindle Fire addresses a different market than the iPad 2, a tablet-light user on a tight budget that may not have yet purchased a tablet or already use a Kindle. … It’s hardly an iPad killer.”

Nor does Amazon intend it to be one. As CEO Jeff Bezos said in a message to customers Wednesday, there are two approaches to the tablet market, and both can work. Apple has chosen one (feature-rich, powerful, high-end hardware tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem) and Amazon the other: (spartan, feature-limited hardware tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem).
First, you're using a quote from two years ago when the original Fire was released and spec wise--it was hardly a equal comparison.

The Fire has evolved significantly to incorporate top end hardware--look at the display and CPU, both top of the line, so I'd contend Bezos is talking out of his a$$. Go take a look at the product page--everything discussed is how good it's hardware is. And at the very bottom of the page is this:

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" vs iPad Air
See how the new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" stacks up to iPad Air. Compare now
But you provided the most important fact yourself--tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem, that's what both devices are all about and is specifically why they are direct competitors.
 
Last edited:

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
But you provided the most important fact yourself--tightly integrated with a formidable content ecosystem, that's what both devices are all about and is specifically why they are direct competitors.
Grabbed the wife and got her to look at this thread.. Take into account she's on Amazon's "Kindle Advisory Group" and is a huge Goodreads contributor.

Her response: "They're missing the point. The point is here that everyone I interface with only one I know has rooted their device. Most want something simple - to read a book, to play Words With Friends, to watch movies, something simple. They don't care about the technology behind it other than does it work well and don't want to bother with knowing. When it comes to what I want to do with it it's then do I need a $500 iPad or a $300 Kindle? The Kindle does just fine. And I just saved $200"
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
Exactly the likely response you'll get from most Kindle buyers---and that's exactly the way Amazon wants it.

----------



First, you're using a quote from two years ago when the original Fire was released and spec wise--it was hardly a equal comparison.

The Fire has evolved significantly to incorporate top end hardware--look at the display and CPU, both top of the line, so I'd contend Bezos is talking out of his a$$. Go take a look at the product page--everything discuss is how good it's hardware is. And at the very bottom of the page is this:
The problem with the Fire line is it does one thing only and that is it sends you to Amazon's store front and that's it ! ;)

The iPad is used for other things than just iTunes. It's used in the medical field, sales, real estate, service industry and other sectors. If the Kindle Fire was used other than Amazon's storefront, i'd agree that it's a direct competitor. Since the iPad does so much more than the Kindle Fire does I don't buy the argument that they are direct competitor's and you haven't heard Jeff Bezos change his tune regarding the purpose of the Kindle Fire line.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
The problem with the Fire line is it does one thing only and that is it sends you to Amazon's store front and that's it ! ;)
And to get an app Apple does what?

They're both media consumption devices. In the grand scheme of things that makes them competitors for the largest segment of their end user base.
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,703
3,698
The problem with the Fire line is it does one thing only and that is it sends you to Amazon's store front and that's it ! ;)

The iPad is used for other things than just iTunes. It's used in the medical field, sales, real estate, service industry and other sectors. If the Kindle Fire was used other than Amazon's storefront, i'd agree that it's a direct competitor. Since the iPad does so much more than the Kindle Fire does I don't buy the argument that they are direct competitor's and you haven't heard Jeff Bezos change his tune regarding the purpose of the Kindle Fire line.
You're looking at it from the wrong perspective--you're looking at it from Apple's point of view, not Amazon's. Many Apple customer may not consider the Kire a competing device because it cannot do many of the same things, as you mentioned. But if someone is considering a Kindle Fire, they're not looking for a device than can do all of that, they want a consumption device. And the first place they are going to look if they don't get a Kindle is most likely the iPad.

Customer primarily concerned with media consumption and simplicity will look at these two devices more than any other. That is the definition of competitors.
 
Last edited:

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
Customer primarily concerned with media consumption and simplicity will look at these two devices more than any other. That is the definition of competitors.
I agree, and playing the devil's advocate here They're in one respect not on equal footing.

As a media consumption device they're competitors. Out of the box, they're almost identical functionality wise.

Where they diverge is when you shift to the enterprise space. The Kindle has never, ever tried to position itself there. That's the largest differentiator - only because Amazon has chosen NOT to target that demographic.

The Mom that wants to let her 7 year old play with a tablet - you want a cheap device or an expensive one? The person that just wants to read a book on the commute to work? You don't need an expensive device. Nor in some major metro areas with "apple picking" rampant do you want one. I'm on DC metro frequently - I assure you I see a lot more Kindles than I do iPads.
 

Rodster

macrumors 68040
May 15, 2007
3,178
6
And to get an app Apple does what?

They're both media consumption devices. In the grand scheme of things that makes them competitors for the largest segment of their end user base.
That would be Google/Android devices that have Google Play already to go on the device with no side loading. If you said Nexus 7/10 and hopefully the N8 along with Samsung, ASUS, ACER etc then yeah those are direct competitors to Apple because they tie in directly to Google's ecosystem. The Kindle Fire filters out that ecosystem and the Amazon Apps Store is grossly limited vs Google Play.

If you are correlating consumption as direction competition to Apple then EVERY tablet made including the $59 el cheapo tablets are direct competition to the iPad.
 

Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
If you are correlating consumption as direction competition to Apple then EVERY tablet made including the $59 el cheapo tablets are direct competition to the iPad.
Just because you don't feel that the Google Play store doesn't match Amazon's doesn't mean it's not fine for others. There's also not the lax oversight allowing trash and malware on Amazon so that means the Play store is still better? Oh, that's right, Tight control of a storefront shouldn't happen but Apple is without sin? Your arguments are starting to get a bit thin.
Actually they are, in that respect the same as a cheap tablet. Just that the Kindle is the only one that gives the Apple purists that think there is no competition heartburn and drives long winded dissertation trying to prove they're right. The fact that the argument can be even had time and time again across multiple sites and consistently mentioned and compared in tech blogs attests to this. It's no different in the end in what is essentially a "Ford Vs Chevrolet" war where two things serve the same purpose in most respects but approach it in different ways. It's all marketing in the end

Except maybe the fanaticism.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.