Amazon's Entry Into The Tablet Industry: Kindle Fire

On September 28th, Amazon launched a new addition to their Kindle family called Kindle Fire. In true Kindle style, it’s being marketed as a reading device, but this one is much different. Up until now, all Kindle devices were small, lightweight, monochrome devices that didn’t even had touchscreens.

The Kindle Fire is poised to be a real contender to Apple’s iPad, but at the same time, it may not be. What this means is that the Fire seems to be geared for a particular market. That market belongs to people that have yet to find a use for a $500+ iPad, yet they want something bigger than their smartphone.

Kindle FireIn terms hardware, the Kindle Fire has a smaller screen, lacks any type of camera or microphone, only offers 8GB of storage and has no 3G option. Any respecting Apple fan would probably be jumping at the opportunity to slam the Kindle Fire right about now, but let’s take a more practical approach.

Unique Kindle Fire Features

  • Access to the Android app market – Every single app you can access for your Android phone will be available for Kindle.
  • Access to and the Kindle store – Purchase items from any part of Amazon and have them delivered to your house or your Kindle.
  • Amazon Silk web browser – Amazon’s new web browser that takes caching to a whole new level.
  • Amazon Cloud Services – All your Amazon-purchased content is stored in the cloud freeing up precious storage space on the Kindle Fire.

First of all, I used to own an iPad and although I really liked it considering I own a MacBook and was using iPhone for over 3 years. However, I noticed I wasn’t using it as much as I thought I was going to and in the grand scheme of things, I couldn’t find my niche. Ergo, I decided it wasn’t worth the $629 I paid for it.

Second, the iPad may not be superior in hardware specs compared to other tablets on the market, but that’s not the reason why it’s the number one seller. What makes the iPad (and every other Apple product for that matter) sell better than most everything else is iTunes. Whether you’re conscious about it or not, iTunes is the lifeblood to all Apple mobile devices. Consumers want to be connected to a central outpost to get all of their apps, games, books, movies, tv and music. So far, nobody has succeeded at this because nobody else but Apple runs iOS and iTunes.

That is until now. Amazon has been building their network into a full-service venue. Currently, you not only have access to everything you can get on iTunes, but you can also purchase just about anything you else you could think of. Amazon Prime members not only get free two-day shipping, but also unlimited access to streaming movies and tv shows. At the rate Amazon is going, they can potentially replace iTunes, Hulu and Netflix as the goto place for everything digital. All they need now is a device to wrap everything up in a nice package. Come November 15th, we’ll get to see their first attempt.

My two cents

Do I think the Kindle Fire will kill the iPad? Not at all. There is always a market for premium products and Apple is the headliner in that market. The Kindle Fire is geared to bring digital book readers into the vast world of digital media and entertainment. Those people who’ve been on the fence about getting their hands on a tablet or trying to justify the expense of doing so no longer have an excuse not to. The Kindle Fire is priced just right at $199 and even though it’s missing some features compared to the iPad, you have to ask yourself are you going to miss those features? Seriously, when are you ever going to hold up a huge iPad and use it to take photos?

The bottom line is that the Kindle Fire can do practically everything the iPad can do in terms of the “actual” use you’ll get out of such a device and given its smaller size, you should be able to hold it in one hand. Try that with an iPad and not only will you get tired fast, but you’ll be afraid of dropping it.

An Inside Look At Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has been around for a while, so I won’t be reporting anything new, but I would like to shed some light on the subject for those of you who are on the fence about joining or not. Maybe you need to see some more value in it before making your choice. For the record, I am now a member of Amazon Prime and hopefully when you’re done reading this, you will be too.

What is Amazon Prime? started the program back in 2005 as a way to keep customers buying at Amazon rather than other retailers. This is a common business practice no doubt, but instead of employing other commonly used tactics for keeping customers around, Amazon chose a unique strategy. They decided to offer free two-day shipping on millions of “qualified” items throughout the Amazon online store. What exactly deems an item as “qualified” is beyond me, but I have yet to see any items that were not able to receive two-day shipping.

In February of 2011, Amazon decided to include the streaming of thousands of movies and tv shows to Amazon Prime members at no extra cost! Attention Netflix users…

The current cost of Amazon Prime is $79 per year (about $6.58 per month). This fee is charged up front, but considering that two-day shipping can cost upwards of $7 or more, if you only buy 1 item a month, you’re already saving money. New members can try Amazon Prime free for one month.


  • Unlimited FREE two-day shipping on most items fulfilled by Amazon. One-day shipping becomes $3.99 per item.
  • FREE release-date delivery on video games and movies.
  • No minimum purchases.
  • Shipping to anyone in the US costs the same.
  • Unlimited streaming of everything in the Video on Demand library. (Not during any trial period)

Amazon Prime Student

Amazon Prime Student
This is the one that really pushed me over! As a student, Amazon is not only giving away Prime with a 6-month trial, but they are also slashing the price!! After your 6-month free trial is up, you only pay $39 per year for all the same benefits listed above! However, you can only get this deal for a maximum of four years. When your four years are up, you’ll be back at the regular price.

To join as a student, all you need is a .EDU email address to verify your eligibility and you’re off. The only drawback during the trial period is that you won’t have access to the streaming service. However, you can upgrade your account at any time to the discounted rate if you want to add streaming to the mix.

Amazon Mom

Just like the student deal above, Amazon Mom caters to a group with specific needs. In this case it’s the mothers of the world!

The membership is free and is open to any mother or caregiver that can provide proof of eligibility and offers these benefits:

  • 30% off diapers
  • Exclusive offers and discounts
  • FREE two-day shipping
  • FREE 365-day returns

More information about the Amazon Mom membership can be found at

My two cents

I joined Amazon Prime for two main reasons. One, because I do most of my online shopping at Amazon and two, because I’m curious to see how well the Video on Demand service turns out. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t allow trial members to access the streaming content, so I have yet to experience my second reason for joining. But, all in all, I’m really enjoying the free two-shipping option and once I decide to upgrade to a paid account (or let me trial run out), I’ll be exploring the wondrous world of Amazon Video on Demand! Look out Netflix…I’m looking for a replacement!