Podcast Episode 16 – Amazon’s Kindle Event
I’m Bily Foster and I’m that iPad guy
Called that because I’ve almost always got iPad with me, and in some cases two!
This week we’re talking about Amazon’s Kindle Event
This past Thursday Amazon held their Kindle event, and they have taken their first real shot across the bow of Apple in the Tablet Wars.
Here is a breakdown of how the Tablet Wars have been playing out. Microsoft’s tablets have been crap. Some where nice tries, but they never hit their sweet spot. People didn’t even care about tablets until Apple launched the iPad.
And of course people flocked to it. People who never used computers, where now connected, but the system is closed and some people feel limited.
Then Android came along, and with the promise of being open, Android was quickly picked up by the techie anti-Apple crowd. And while there has been the boosting of Android followers there really hasn’t been a device to challenge the iPad.
So were is the war? Well we’ve got this little civil war in iOS where people wanting more from their device and remove the walls and safeguards Apple has put in place. Known as Jailbreaking a device. There are a variety of reasons why people want to do this. But it is part of the audience that could be open to switching to Android. In the mean time Apple’s audience grows in both camps.
Android’s tablets have been slow going. They have had some cool tablets by Samsung, Acer, Dell, ASUS and even Motorola, but nothing that could really break the barrier of the main stream, so no REAL challenger to the iPad. Also none created by Google the company behind Android. So we can consider these little localize wars fighting for the love and faith of those willing to dive into the market place.
And then last year along came Amazon with the Kindle Fire and they have taken Apples approach to Android. They use Android as a base and have tweaked it into their own closed system to the point where they don’t even say that its Android.
Their little 7″ tablet proved there is a market for the size. The problem, while the Kindle had the right price point it’s sluggish system was a turn off and the Kindle sales slowed after the initial bang.
So jump to summer of this year and Google teaming up with ASUS finally releases the Nexus 7 to rave reviews despite some build quality issues. And with it the first real push for the Google Play store and with access to Apps, Music, Movies, Books and Magazines.
And this is how the game changes.
You see Amazon’s Kindle Fire, as I reviewed it when it came out, is a direct link from the products and services that Amazon provides to your wallet. And with the newly refreshed line of tablets, they have thrown down the gauntlet in front of Apple.
In fact I’d go as far as saying they are not even really selling you a tablet anymore. They are selling you their whole EcoSystem, and the tablets are just a outlet or the vehicle of bring you access to the great system they have built. And they are going to do it at rock bottom prices.
What’s happening is instead of getting a contract, like you do with a cell phone, Amazon is going to make its money on each book, movie, app or magazine you purchase and download. And they really hit a home run with these features that are only available on the latest Kindle Fire models.
X-Ray for movies, books, and textbooks. You might be wonder x-ray, what am I gonna x-ray, I’m not a TSA agent. Well Amazon’s version of x-ray lets you explore deeper into the content, by proving more information about a character, or how often they appear in a chapter of a book, more info to help you see where things are.
And by leveraging their ownership in IMDB and Audible they can connect you to information in ways Apple can only dream about. IMDB to link you to addition movies the actors in the film you are watching have been in and then get you a copy of that movie all without leaving the movie you are currently watching.
Or with Audible to link you to the audio version of a book you are reading. Now for example lets say your reading your favorite Twinkle book, and your running late for work, but you’ve got to find out if Bella is going to stay with Edwin or not. You can purchase the audio version and have it pick up where you left off while you hop in the car and jaunt off to work. Then once you get to work and get on you first break you can pick the book back up where you left off. This is done through the new Whispersync for Voice.
And that’s just the start of ‘the ecosystem’. Amazon’s Whispersync started from books originally then spreading onto movies and now audio books and games. They are really proving that these tablets are just access points into a larger system that saves your data/state remotely into the ‘cloud’ so that when the time comes to replace, upgrade, or even just switch devices you don’t have the hassle of starting over. And you don’t have to try and keep things in sync.
It’s a theory that has been a dream of Apple and Google for a while but no one has gotten it quite right just yet. Amazon may have beat them to the punch.
Amazon has also overshadowed Apple by providing a fully featured and linked up ecosystem. Google is years behind, even Apple’s video app now feels outdated by providing just the information of who is in a movie. Not even simply providing a link to the iTunes Store for a search seems like a HUGE marketing over site, one I assume will be fixed soon.
But remember all is fair in love and war, Google’s only defense is to not provide their apps to Amazon’s App Store. However there is a theory that they could be able to be side loaded into a device. Once I get my hands on one to test, I’ll let you know.
And now we have the battle lines drawn. Amazon realizes that this isn’t about specs, it’s about the user experience, which is why they have tweaked Android as much as they have, sure it maybe simple, but simple means that anyone can use it and THAT is exactly what Amazon wants.
What does this mean in the long terms? Well it means Sony better hurry up and get their system up and running, Google needs to start ramping up their content and Microsoft is risking it all on Windows 8.
And you, well if I were you I’d hold out and wait. We’ve got Apple’s event coming up, and Amazon’s tablets won’t hit the streets until October. I’m sure by the holiday season we’ll have a clearer picture of where the best option is going to be, but it sure is going to get exciting over the next couple months.
Will Apple blow them both out of the water with an iPad mini on the 12th, or wait to launch an ‘October Surprise’ during the typical iPod refresh event? Only time will tell and of course I’ll be talking about it.
So that Wraps up another this episode of that iPad guy. Again thanks for watching and be sure to like me on Facebook, follow me on twitter, or Circle me on Google Plus and visit “That iPad Guy . Com ” to subscribe!
See ya next time!