Skip to main content

Amazon Announces New Tablets And A Change Of Focus

 
Amazon has released details of its refreshed Kindle Fire range and in doing so demonstrated that it understands how the tablet market has changed since the original Fire was launched. Whether its new direction is sufficient to win it back some relevance in the tablet market remains to be seen.
 
The biggest news is a 7" tablet which will sell for just $50. That's going to make it an attractive purchase when compared to the no-name and rebranded imports that currently populate that price band.
 
Also announced were $150 and $230 8" and 10" versions. These look to be pretty good value for the price and for the first time pack external storage which can be used for downloaded media storage. Amazon is advertising them as more durable than the iPad, but given the significant price difference between the two ranges I can't see anybody making a buying decision between the two.
 
New services are what will be the bigger machine's unique selling points. The new Underground service gives owners $10,000 of free applications - including in-game items, Word Runner, a new word at a time book reader, said to improve both reading speed and comprehension. The tablets will also maintain a library of content offline without any need for user interaction, meaning that you'll never be stuck in waiting room with nothing to watch. The service - called On Deck - can be disabled if you don't feel it adds value.
 
The Fire tablets all benefit from a new UI, which looks a lot like standard Android. This should make it easier for customers to transition in from other tablets. It also means that first time tablet buyers will see an interface much closer to one they're used to running on their phones.
 
Focusing on providing a better customer experience is definitely the right thing for Amazon to do. It won't sell many tablets if it thinks it can compete with Apple, or even premium Android tablet OEMs.
 
In the mid-range, though, it can differentiate itself by providing intelligent services and better customer service and as a result regain some of the ground it has lost as the market has slipped away from it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…