The Kindle Fire Will Burn Other Androids

Forget Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPad. Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) all-new Kindle lineup that was just unveiled should be making every tablet maker except Apple run for cover.

The $199 price point for the Kindle Fire is so aggressive that it's just one way the tablet is distancing itself from the iPad. Of course it hopes to steal sales from the iPad, but that will be somewhat harder than poaching from Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android brethren. No other Android tablet offering can come close to the value proposition that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just put up.

The Kindle Fire lacks some notable features because of its price tag. For example, there's no camera, microphone, or 3G connectivity. AllThingsD is reporting that Amazon could lose roughly $50 per unit, but I have little doubt that the company will make that up in no time with content sales and Amazon Prime subscriptions, since the Kindle Fire comes with a free one-month test-drive of the service.

The tablet's heavy integration with Amazon's myriad of other services is something no other Android tablet maker can replicate. Its 8 GB of onboard storage seems paltry, but all Amazon content gets free cloud storage.

The traditional Kindle offerings have also seen their prices notched down alongside refreshed hardware, with the entry model starting at a nearly irresistible $79. The Kindle Touch will cost you an extra $20, and the Kindle Touch 3G can be yours for $149. Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) shareholders are shaking in their boots, with shares dropping by as much as 14% today on the unveiling as investors feared that the upcoming Nook Color 2 won't stand up.

Android tablet makers including Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) , Samsung, Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) , and HTC are now dead in the water with their gadgets. None of them can compete on this level, either on price, content integration and availability, or service.

These are areas where Apple excels, and this is why Apple will be able to play solid defense against the Kindle Fire, even with more than double the entry-level price. Sure, the Kindle Fire may be able to make a dent in iPad sales, but it will absolutely incinerate Galaxy Tab, Xoom, and Flyer sales.

The Android tablet market now belongs to Amazon.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple and Amazon.com, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, and Amazon.com and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (8) | Recommend This Article (2)

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  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2011, at 8:44 PM, bobyk3 wrote:

    While Amazon may sell some millions, Amazon will not be able to keep up with innovation in this space.

    Amazon is no Apple which designs hardware and software. Amazon is no Google which releases a new next generation feature every day.

    With Apple, Amazon could look "cheap". With Google, Amazon could look "obsolete" the next day of release.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2011, at 8:57 PM, Aryabod wrote:

    Your kidding me aren't you? Apple is just as vunerible as everyone else. For its price Amazon's Fire pad is a great device but you should not forget its limitations. Have you tried comparing it to Samsung's Galaxy 10.1" inch pad? I recently got one for $399 and for its price not even Apple's latest iteration can emulate its quality.

    The Fire will do well, however at the higher price point where the consumer wants more it will be a different ball game. Nevertheless, IMHO the Fire will hurt Apple more than anyone else only because Apple's iPad is the Pad with the most momentum. Owing to this it will no doubt take market share away from Apple more than anyone else.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2011, at 9:54 PM, foolindeed1 wrote:

    B&N is coming out with Nook Color 2 shortly. Also, current e-Ink Nook Simpletouch is still better designed than even the new Kindle Touch with battery lasting two months with ONE hour reading with Wi-Fi off thus it's still twice as long as new Kindle's two months with HALF and hour a day with Wi-Fi off. More, Kindle Touch still flashed black on each page turn while Nook Touch reduces the flashing by 80%. If you walk in with the Nook to Barnes & Noble store, you’re allowed to read ANY available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the store Wi-Fi. The new Kindle's prices that are being advertised are add-supported ones while normal devices will be $30-50 more expensive.

    Oh, and B&N shares only dropped 7% and recovered after hours.

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2011, at 1:35 AM, websterphreaky wrote:

    Evan Niu ... you TRULY are a FOOL!! "The Kindle Fire Will Burn Other Androids"....

    Ah FOOL, it has NO VIDEO CAMERA, it's LIMITED in it's Tablet Functionality, IT ONLY HAS 8GB of RAM!!

    These and MANY MANY MORE are reasons that makes the Fire not even in the same game as the ASUS, ACER, Zoom, Toshiba, etc etc etc .... Jesus, even the Dead on Arrival HP Notepad is a better device IF you are taling about a REAL Universal Tablet!

    Yes, Evan Niu are a FOOL .... and certainly NOT a real Tech "journalist" .... just a "blogger" with nothing.

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2011, at 4:47 AM, joe951 wrote:

    Does anyone even use the camera on a tablet? Maybe a front facing webcam, but not the actual camera.

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2011, at 10:24 PM, stefanic47 wrote:

    I have an iPad with 3g capability. It is a love hate relationship. I love the convenience. I hate not having the ability to use or even view adobe flash files, websites, video, etc. I just placed a pre order for the Kindle Fire. I don't care about a huge tablet having built-in cameras. If only the iPad allowed other accessories via USB. I am a pc person in a pc work place. I think apple products are beautiful - but not worth the price and incompatibility issues. I am more than ready to sell my iPad if the kindle fire performs as advertised. I believe millions will agree. Those waiting for a affordable portable color screen with apps, wireless Internet screen will buy the Fire.

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2011, at 6:50 AM, tiffanykennedy wrote:

    My husband and I love our new Kindle Fire. It's lightweight, easy to use and has a great interface. The first thing I recommend anyone with a new Kindle do is install the nook app. We got our instructions from www.kindlemad.com through google. It basically unlocks all the Android marketplace apps and unlocks the device. I am one very happy Kindle owner!

  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2011, at 7:47 AM, import2udirect wrote:

    I think devices like Samsung note are the future, 5.3 and still pocket-able with drawing pencil I would choose a device like this over any smaller smartphone or bigger tablet any day of the week watch more similar products popping up copying Samsung's idea

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