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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

Amazon's Kindle Fire
takes aim at Apple's iPod/iPad Gap

Originally posted September 29th, 2011, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
Addedum on Kindle Fire graphics speed added November 19th, 2011.

After a day of reflection, I think I understand the genius of the Amazon Kindle Fire. It fills a void that Apple has ignored -- so far.

Take a look at this table comparing the lowest priced iPad and iPod Touch to the Kindle Fire and then I'll explain further.

Amazon
Kindle Fire

Apple
iPad WiFi

Apple
iPod Touch

Apple
iPhone 4

Price

$199

$499

$225

$199 with 2yr contract

Flash Storage

8GB

16GB

8GB

16GB

Screen Size

7 inch

9.7 inch

3.5 inch

3.5 inch

Screen Rez

1024x600

1024x768

960x640

960x640

Cameras

None

Two

Two

Two

WiFi

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

3G

No

No

No

Yes

Battery Life

8 hours (est)

10 hours*

10 hours*

10 hours*

Weight

14.6 ounces

21.3 ounces

3.6 ounces

4.8 ounces

(* 10 hours for WiFi web surfing; video playback 7-10 hours; music playback 40 hours)

Amazon is betting there is a latent demand for a smaller, cheaper pad with a few less features and smaller storage.

Though the cheapest iPad has a bigger screen, dual cameras, more storage, more available apps, it costs more than twice as much as the Kindle Fire.

The cheapest iPod Touch costs about the same as the Fire but the screen is one-fourth the size.

The iPhone 4 really isn't a good comparison. Though you can get one for $199 with contract, that contract costs $1320 for the 24 months of minimum voice and data plans.

So has Apple missed an opportunity by not offering a "de-featured" iPad for $199? Do they have a blind spot in their marketing plan? Or have they concluded that it's not necessary or profitable?

If the Amazon Kolor Kindle does "catch fire," Apple's "alarms" may go off. They could quickly respond with a $199 iPad and call it "Fire Extinguisher."

ADDENDUM (November 19th, 2011)
Anandtech GLBenchmark graph shows iPad 2 and iPhone 4S 'smoking" the Droid Razr and Galaxy Nexus smart phones -- which use the same GPU (PowerVR SGX540) as the Kindle Fire. Ergo, the iPad 2 will 'smoke' the Kindle Fire when doing graphics intensive functions.

ADDENDUM (November 2012)
Apple did decide to make smaller, lower priced iPad mini. It's currently selling more units than the regular Retina iPad. We just wish it had a Retina screen. Maybe in 2013 that will happen.

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copyright 2011 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster