We know for sure that folks who have been on the scene would agree that Apple not only makes iPads, they created the tablet industry. But how many of these people also realize that the budget end of the tablet range is indeed attributed to Amazon, by way of their Kindle Fire of course?
With 4 million units shipped in its debut quarter (4Q 2011), snatching 14 per cent of the overall tablet market share on the way, that’s no mean feat by any standards. And to pull that off with a rookie unit, that just goes to show the genius and vision of those at Amazon. Let’s look at the forest past the trees for a moment.
My view is that the Fire camp actually complements the iPad camp and augments the overall tablet market. By camps, I mean products grouped by screen size and price. Whether it was by sheer serendipity or calculated business strategy, the idea of a no-frills budget tablet was spot-on, at least for Amazon. See the budget-tablet galore now – Fire, Nook, Nexus, IdeaPad, Galaxy….
The market reach also expanded. High-end tablets are nice for those with both the heart and the money. Money – the Fire not only lowered the affordability bar from the $500 level, it also offered many a fence-sitter a ‘down-to-earth’ low-cost taster and created a market out of it. The rest was history. So should budget tablet competitors then be patting Amazon instead of smacking her? Heart – Fire trial-users who subsequently also become fancier tablet fans never would have embraced tablets in the first place if it weren’t for Fire’s budget entry so shouldn’t those in that higher camp be hugging, instead of poking Amazon?
And most of all, shouldn’t the entire tablet community be happy that there was an ebook reader cum tablet computer that came to pass? Pass, because rumors are rife that a refreshed version of the Fire is in the works and if the flagship Fire is anything to go by, it can only be good for producers, sellers, consumers and all.