Opinion: Kindle Fire means there will never be a 7" iPad

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Mad Mac Maniac, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    First let me state that with the limited knowledge that I have with the hardware and software of the Fire, I think it has the potential to be a huge success. But it's not really competing directly in the iPad segment... just like the iPad it created its own market.


    Think about that. I could go on forever talking about why I think the Fire has the pieces to be a successful tablet and how it seperated itself from the higher quality, more multifunctional iPad, but that's not the point of this thread.. well maybe it is a bit, but I'll touch on that later.

    Whether you like the 7" size or not, I am sure Apple has been watching that segment very carefully. They'd be stupid not to. Sure they claimed 7" tabs were DOA, but if 7"ers started flying off the shelves you can bet Apple would have a 7" iPad ready for the limelight. Sure 7" tabs haven't exactly been a huge hit, but neither have 10" tabs not named iPad! Plus up till now all 7" tabs have had some flaw (poor hardware and/or poor software) and they usually cost the same as the iPad! What was the point?

    Now BAM! Amazon comes out with a highly focused tablet that has limited functions, but does what it does very well (sound familiar?) and (and here's the kicker) is priced at $200!!? If Apple were to release a 7" iPad there is not a chance they would meet that price. Apple would consier a $200 iPad to be a complete piece of crap. It would probably be $400 or maybe $300 if we are really lucky. That would place the 7" iPad in no man's land. Consumers would decide on either the small, highly portable, $200 Fire that's finely tuned for media consumption OR the more powerful, larger, more capable 10" $500 iPad.

    So I see two scenarios. Kindle Fire has mediocre success and Apple points, laughs and says "see I told you 7" tabs sucked!!" or the Fire is a huge success, but Apple realizes that a $300-$400 7" iPad would have bad sales and/or canabalize 10" iPad. There would be no incentive. Maybe they just need to figure out how to make a $200-$250 iPad...

    I think Amazon really did revolutionize the 7" tab segment. They gave the segment a price point and purpose.
  2. kalex macrumors 65816

    Oct 1, 2007
    Price point, size and amazon's content will definitely make Fire a hit.

    Watch out though your thread is about to be closed as we have an anti fire patrol :)
  3. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    The Kindle Fire has nothing to do with the dream of a 7" iPad. Apple said they wouldn't make one, they have not indicated any interest in such a device since then, and the sales numbers that I have seen don't support such a move.

    As for the success of the Fire, it's difficult to tell, but it won't be selling because it is a tablet. It lacks access to the Google marketplace, so only has a tiny number of apps. It lacks a decent battery life. It lacks a 3G option. It lacks memory. It doesn't even have bluetooth. The Kindle Fire is a device for Amazon customers to consume Amazon content.

    I am sure Apple would compete if they saw a future with the 7" size, but there is no evidence that a tablet of that size for the broad market (beyond the customers of one company) will sell well. If I were them, I'd stay far away and focus on meeting the tremendous demand they'll have for the iPad 3.
  4. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    I doubt Apple was going to consider a 7" device regardless because it didn't fit their business model and plan. I don't see the Fire as a direct competitor to the iPad either, but it does have a place as a limited device for those looking only for those capabilities. I prefer the flexibility the iPad gives.

    As far as an anti fire patrol, there has been no censorship or conspiracy to squelch Fire information, only a concerted effort in the short term to consolidate discussion. As time goes on and individuals have opportunity to experience the device, make comparisons, ask questions, there will no doubt be a diversity in the threads, such as the point raised in this one.
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    A Success For Certain

    As for a seven inch iPad, I can't see it myself. The Fire has the huge passing retail audience online, and boy is it priced to sell. It will be interesting to see what develops over time.

    Next Tuesdays timing of the video keynote at Covent Garden may well be timed to divert some attention away from
    Jeff and his new toy.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I was wondering why they announce it a month and a half before you can get one; perhaps they are waiting to see how many people pre-order so they can decide how many to build?
  7. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    May I ask what it is that has people feeling the Kindle is so limited? Is it because it lacks a camera? Is it because you can't read a book in landscape? Is it because it doesnt have a dual core A5 chip?

    To me the difference between the iPad and Fire is that the iPad is great at both creating and consuming media while the Fire is purely a media consumption device. But despite how many fantastic media creation tools we have on the iPad, if most average consumers aren't making iMovies or Garage Band songs then many iPad owners are overbuying and may benefit from a cheaper 7" iPad that was intended for pure media consumption and portability.
  8. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Covered by Gruber:

  9. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    I think if the market had considerable success with the 7" tabs (more success than 10" tabs) that were priced in the $400-$500 range, then Apple would have certainly considered it. I have always held the belief that there was a market for 7" tabs and now I believe Amazon found it.

    Honestly, I can even see the merit in having both the Fire and iPad. They serve distinct enough purposes. Obviously that wouldn't be necessary for most people, but from iPhone->fire->iPad->macbook air->iMac they all have a lot of overlap, but yet they all have their own niche.
  10. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    I assume that they aren't ready to churn the devices out yet.

    If I were Amazon, I would put out something now (as they did with the $79 Kindle) and tell people I have something else coming during the Christmas shopping season. They've generated a ton of excitement.

    Otherwise, they cede Christmas sales to competitors like B+N. People are going to start buying over the next few weeks. Doing it this way they have basically cut B+N off at the knees. No matter what B+N puts out when it updates its Nook Color line, it cannot hope to compete with the Kindle Fire, which has access to the tremendous amount of material at Amazon, Amazon cloud, etc. And, of course, Amazon's ereaders are far superior to the Nook. To add insult to injury, they managed to produce a fabulous ereader well under 100 dollars. This is going to be huge.

    I predict that this is the end of B+N, and with this product lineup Amazon will gain complete dominance over the ereader market (devices designed specifically for reading with things like the e-ink screen). It is amazing to see how quickly they have moved. And, as many have noted (and my personal experience bears this out), people often purchase both the Kindle and the iPad, so Amazon has managed to get a hold of our money without getting clobbered by Apple. Impressive product development and marketing.

    As I mentioned before, I don't think this is a direct assault on the iPad. It is simply too limited (battery, 3G, memory, bluetooth, etc.) to be a viable alternative for many people. It will, however, be a great ADDITIONAL device for going to the beach, entertaining the kids on a trip, etc. There are lots of situations where a "10 $500+ gadget like the iPad isn't the best companion.
  11. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    Yes you may. In fact you answered part of it yourself. The Fire is built just for consumption. It easily gives you access to your books, magazines, and movies. It also has a great web browser and will have a decent selection of games.

    It's NOT built for resource intensive apps, NOT built for video calling, NOT built to be a laptop replacement. I think of it more like a kindle on steroids than a dumbed down iPad.
  12. matt90036 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    i disagree. you are comparing apples and oranges. iPad is a highly multifunctional device due to the amounts of apps that are out there and the general app support of big corporations such as netflix, skype, TV networks, etc..
    fire on the other hand has very limited number of apps, from what i've heard you will be only able to use Amazon app store which has even fewer apps than Google app store. these apps are mostly junk, will have no netflix support and no use of skype because it has no camera. the main purpose of fire is to offer people easy and cheap way to access internet, books and limited number of shows at amazon prime. it will take off quite well, i predict because HP touchpad at $99 did show a lot of potential.
    fire and ipad are completely 2 different products, targeting different kinds of people who used tablets for different purposes.
  13. dgree03 macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Ipad isnt a laptop replacement device either, your point?
  14. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    And it lacks accelerometers, compass, GPS, iOS. Apart from that Mrs. Lincoln...

    This is a gadget for shopping on Amazon.com. If you shop there a lot this might have some appeal. I never shop at Amazon so this really has limited appeal.

    There was an interesting financial blog posting that suggested Amazon might be in a tough spot in a few years as states start requiring it to collect sales tax. Once they are are on an even footing with local brick-and-mortar stores growth may slow down quite a bit.
  15. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Well, I've always thought that one reason why Apple hasn't come out with a 7" iPad is the difficulty in pricing it. The most expensive iPod touch model is $399, while the cheapest iPad is $499. So how would you price a 7" iPad?

    And talk about pricing conondrums, I think the Fire is going to make the iPod touch feel overpriced. I've seen several articles around the 'net suggesting that the Fire could be an "iPod touch killer," and I'd tend to agree. I'm looking forward to the Oct 4th Apple announcement to see if/how much Apple reduces the price of the touch.
  16. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    As already noted in a subsequent response, the point is to freeze holiday season purchases for the Fire.

    But the answer to why the first units of all three models are limited to the US is two-fold. First, of course, is simply the inventory available in early production is limited. Amazon doesn't like to disappoint customers so they're not going to sell product they can't ship. Amazon doesn't usually create "waiting lists." If they don't have a product to ship they offer to let you know when they'll have it in stock rather than let you wait.

    Second, Amazon takes the challenges of shipping very seriously. (They are, after all a mail order company.) Until they can stock warehouses around the globe to enable short time delivery they're not going to sell the product internationally.


    I think the iPod Touch was already dead. Or at least on life support. It's sales are down 20% since a year ago. The murderer? The iPad.
  17. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Well, I still use my iPod touch a lot. It's great when I need a device that fits in my pockets. I doubt many people would say "Should I buy a touch or an iPad?" -- they just serve totally different purposes. Now if people bought iPhones instead of touches, that, I would understand. And if Apple ever released a 7" iPad, that could lead to a lot of head-twisting as people tried to figure out which was better for their usage, 7" iPad or a touch. Perhaps another reason Apple decided against a 7" iPad.

    In any case, my point is that Apple had plenty of reasons to not release a 7" iPad, even before the announcement of the Fire.
  18. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011

    Couldn't disagree more. As the author of the article cited below put it...

    "The Kindle Fire fills that tiny tablet gap in my life. It only has the features I really care about at a price point that's reasonable. It's more than reasonable, it's pretty great. But more importantly, it's the color Kindle I've been waiting for. I don't care about built-in 3G. That's what Mi-Fis are for. The camera on our iPad was used the first week just to point out how horrible the pictures looked.."

    In my case I have a compass, not that I need it much and I certainly don't need one with a 10" screen. I have a GPS (superior to the iPad's on my smartphone) . And with the smaller form factor the accelerometer is a relatively minor issue. (The Fire does change orientation based on the app. Movies, for example, are shown in landscape.) In the case of the iPad, the accelerometer mainly functions to handle all those iPhone apps that I'm forced to reorient the iPad to use.

    The point is that I have a smartphone, laptop, desktop, netbook, and an iPad. The redundancy of the devices is significant. The netbook seldom gets any use these days, but I need the other non-iPad devices for things the iPad cannot do. Thus, like the author, I have a "tiny gap" in functionality to fill. If the Fire had been available when I purchased the iPad I might well have chosen to fill it with a $200 device rather than an iPad.

  19. matt90036 macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    Here is why fire and droid is in general more limited than iPad: Very few tablet designed/professional apps And fire is even more limited because it doesn't support google app store and amazon has like 100 times less apps.
    Is it a good consumption device? I do not think so. It has no Netflix support and will never get any. It has no camera and no skype support. Remember that skype for droid is for phones only, it does not support video. And yeah, reading books on vertical mode is just a stupid limitation.
    In general I think fire will do exceptionally well because it is a media consumption device at a very very good price. It's a perfect gift for xmass for those who cannot afford an iPad. The 7 inch portability also gives it a nice edge over iPad.
    I am personally hoping for a 7 inch tablet with at least 7 hour battery life and GPS support in the next 2 years or so.
  20. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    And remember that Amazon doesn't allow the press to touch the devices.
  21. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    Don't disagree with you often, Palpatine, but I do in this case. Or at least I'd put it differently.

    () No, it's not a "tablet." At least not if a "tablet" is defined as having all the attributes of an iPad. But I think that's a logical fallacy, sort of the converse of reification. The Fire, I think, broadens the concept of a "tablet."

    () You might notice that almost every promotional photo of the Fire shows it being held in one hand. Usually a woman's hand. I've yet to see a single photo where it's being held in two hands. That's the selling point of the 7" form factor. Along with the fact that it weighs about 30% less than an iPad.

    () Those factors lead inevitably to a somewhat shorter battery life. But 6-8 hours ain't bad. It beats most smartphones by quite a bit. And though it's not clear if there is going to be a replaceable battery (at least to me), that would go a long way to deal with that problem.

    () And while it's obvious it's a device aimed at consuming content from Amazon, that sells it short, I think. I initially thought it lacked an email app, for example, but that's not so. And the Amazon Android app store has more than "a tiny number of apps." About 500 last time I checked and 100 of those added in the last 30 days. By the time the Fire is out there, I'm guessing it'll top a thousand. Tiny by iOS standards of course, but for what Amazon is trying to do, I'm sure they'll put a huge effort into the apps available.

    () No bluetooth. Granted. I think that's a weakness but only, as far as I can tell for speakers and to a lesser extent for a keyboard. This is definitely NOT a content creation device.

    () Lack of 3G? Sorry, I just don't see that as a weakness, but I'm a mifi hotspot fan. I suspect Amazon will strike a deal with one or more carriers if it proves to be a problem. But if they do, it will likely be a 4G/LTE not a 3G connection. And again, adding another radio introduces a "bulge" issue in the form factor. (I suspect the little bugger is crammed full.)

    Furthermore, I suspect that Amazon may have opted not to include 3G because they are putting a huge emphasis on their new web browser. The one feature of an iPad where performance is both variable and often slow is in connecting to the web. Amazon wants the user to be virtually unaware of the difference between a local app and content pulled out of the ether. Reliance on heavily congested 3G networks undermines that goal.

    () Lack of "memory." Actually lack of storage. (Excuse my obsession with that confusion.) It's obvious that Amazon is betting the farm on the "cloud." They want users to be able to rely on their excellent server infrastructure as if it were local storage. (See comment about the browser, above.) The details aren't yet quite clear, but Amazon is committed, I think, to making Apple's iCloud look like an amateur effort. And they have the hardware already in place to do it.

    () Finally, I completely agree that Apple won't try to compete directly with the iPad with a 7" tablet. But I don't think it's because there isn't a market for a 7" "tablet." It's just that it's a "tablet" re-imagined.

    But to market such a device runs counter to Apple "culture". Apple's the BMW of the tech world. "We don't compete. If you don't like our stuff, it's because you are lacking in some fundamental quality. Probably money."

    But even more importantly, a 7" iPad would look like an economy model of an iPad. In contrast, the Fire looks like a premium version of a Kindle. As I know you've noted before, the iPad's purpose is as much to lock consumers into the Apple brand as it is to sell tablets. Amazon has a similar goal. But the Fire and a 7" iPad would send very different messages to the marketplace.


    Doubt that's significant. I suspect it had more to do with the mob scene that existed at the event yesterday. If you look at the videos posted on the web, it's clear that trying to keep track of the units in that environment would have been almost impossible. Not to mention having to referee the fist fights among the press for access to the devices.

    There will be plenty of time to "touch the devices."
  22. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    If Apple were to release a $200 7" iPad, it would destroy all kindle fire sales.
  23. supermac96 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2010
    somewhere over the rainbow
    I doubt they will ever put out a 7" iPad because the normal ones are already doing good enough and so are the touches I don't think they need anything in between.
  24. Mad Mac Maniac thread starter macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

    Oct 4, 2007
    A little bit of here and a little bit of there.
    Sure. But the iPod touch starts at $229......
  25. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    You made some good points. I'm not sure we entirely disagree, but I will pick up on the characteristics of the Amazon tablet that I think disqualify it from carrying the "tablet" label.

    It's a Kindle, and I think that term (for Amazon) means a device designed to consume content from Amazon. Indeed, Amazon itself doesn't even use the "t" word on its website, though they do mention the iPad :)

    In my mind, a tablet is something like a computer, with features that enable users to consume and create content in some way. That's not a rigid category, but it does suggest something more functional than the Fire. It doesn't have to be defined "as having all the attributes of an iPad," but rather, having the attributes of a tablet.

    Sure. There are some apps. Tiny by Android Marketplace standards. And, many of them will be useless or nearly-so with the Fire. Game app makers will love this device. I want to make it clear that I think Amazon made a brilliant move here, and I think this sounds like a product with a future, but that future will not be as a tablet.

    Exactly. This is huge. Students? No. Businessmen? No. This is a device made for entertainment using movies, games, and books. I am not criticizing Amazon for making it, but pointing out that we need to distinguish this from tablets if we want to understand its place in the market. It is not (as some have said) the iPad killer.

    Wow. This was a shock. Very little storage, and no access to the cloud, unless you are in a wifi environment. Take a car trip with the kids and that lack of 3G will be a big deal. This is not a device you will be depending on like you might an iPad or even an iPhone. It is purpose-built, and that purpose is entertainment in a wifi environment (usually home or within a short distance of it). I love mifi hotspots, and spent all of last year with one, but let's face it, most people don't have these devices.

    The browser is cool, in theory, but useless in practice, unless you are in a wifi environment. Again, you are tied to home or your hotspots.

    I think there is a niche market for the 7" tablet. And, it isn't one Apple needs to bother with, in my opinion. But, the Fire is not a 7" tablet. The Fire is wisely NOT re-imagining the tablet, but elaborating on the Kindle approach--purpose-built devices to deliver Amazon content. It is a product designed for Amazon's US consumers. There is a reason you see few Kindle books overseas. There are no books. The Fire will have a similar fate. I think Amazon knows this and is OK with it. Apple is playing a totally different game by producing a tablet for anyone, whether or not they are an Apple consumer.

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