While Steve Jobs can lay claim to single-handedly taking a company on the verge of total destruction and turning it around, Jeff Bezos can boast that he made it possible for the dying publishing industry to stay afloat – and also allowed previously unpublished authors to introduce their words to the world, making some of them extremely rich in the process.
Whereas Jobs has stepped down from Apple, Bezos remains in position at Amazon – and has created another revolutionary product. While rumors had been swirling for months about the Amazon tablet, when Bezos stepped on stage with the Kindle Fire in his hand, the tech world understood that Amazon was introducing a game changer to the public.
Immediately, critics claimed there was no way the Kindle Fire would be the “iPad killer” that had been whispered about in countless tech blogs, but anyone understanding Bezos knows his intention was never to bring down the iPad.
At least, not in the conventional way…
However, in a roundabout way, there is a very good chance that the Kindle Fire can make a significant dent in the Apple sales armor – and might even cause Tim Cook, Apple’s new CEO, to rethink of some of the strategies in place. The Kindle Fire has several aspects that make it very attractive to customers who are looking to enter the tablet world and are looking to choose between the Kindle Fire and the iPad 2.
First, the Kindle Fire is smaller than the iPad 2. This means that movies might not look as good on the Kindle Fire – especially blockbusters. Then again, the Kindle Fire is lighter and can be held with one hand. That means that someone standing in line at the DMV is more likely to enjoy a movie with the Kindle Fire than with an iPad 2. After all, most people watch those blockbuster epics on a big-screen television, rather than on a small handheld device.
The Kindle Fire does not have a camera. At one time, that might have seemed to be a negative, but since so many people use their cellphones as cameras, the lack of a camera is not a problem. By keeping a camera out of the equation, Bezos managed to keep the hardware to a minimum – and that helped to also keep costs down significantly. Bezos knows that the less bells and whistles he puts into his devices, the lower the price he needs to charge.
The Kindle Fire is going to sell for under $200. This price is the “sweet spot” for tablets. While the Fire does not have the computing power of the iPad 2, the price more than makes up the difference. People looking to have an entry-level tablet will find the Kindle Fire handles most of their computing needs – and while it might not play advanced graphics games requiring high-powered graphics capabilities, it will handle casual games quite nicely – and at a price that allows households to buy two Kindle Fires for less than the price of a single iPad 2.
This is where Bezos shows the world what a genius he truly is. He is going to give people a handheld content device at a reasonable price – and he’s also going to link that device to an entire network of content that Amazon controls. Whether it’s a Kindle e-book or a streaming video, the Fire will allow millions of users to hold in their hands a device leading straight to the gates of the Amazon empire.
In the end, Bezos has once again shown that Amazon is consistently looking for ways to change the way people look at both him and his company. The Kindle Fire might not be an iPad killer – but by creating a tablet that is actually a content delivery device, he’s made things a bit harder on Apple.
From the inception of the Kindle, Jeff Bezos has been the visionary force behind the Kindle line of products. This single-minded vision is what led Steve Jobs to create the successful iPad line of products. However, with the passing away of the man behind Apple’s success, Amazon finds itself in the position of being a leading digital content provider with a strong presence in the leadership position able to make key decisions without being compared to a predecessor. This freedom of creative movement might create an opening for the Amazon Kindle product line to become true rivals to the Apple iPad legacy.