The Macalope Daily: Fire sale

The Macalope’s been maintaining that the Kindle Fire isn’t quite in the iPad’s class, but it turns out Amazon doesn’t agree. The company’s comparison page, however, might be a tad misleading. (Surprise!)

After noting the difference in the screen size between the two devices, Amazon helpfully adds:

iPad 2 is 46% heavier

Well, yes, Amazon. Given two items of roughly the same density, the larger one will generally be heavier.

It’s funny how Android fans deride the iPhone for not having a larger screen and then Amazon derides the iPad for being heavier—because it has a larger screen.

Amazon oddly claims the iPad only has…

Movies, shows, songs, games, apps, magazines & books from iTunes

Well, yes, other than Pandora, Netflix, and a whole mess of other services. One of which goes by a name that might be familiar to Amazon since it is, in fact, “Amazon.”

In addition to Kindle books, you can even use the Amazon Cloud Player to play your Amazon-purchased MP3s on the iPad. While this may be news to Amazon, it’s still true. You totally can. It’s not a great user experience, because it’s not optimized for mobile, but you can do it. Frankly, the Macalope thinks the only thing the service is optimized for in any format is trying to get you to buy more stuff from Amazon.

But, of course, that’s what it’s supposed to do, because that’s the business Amazon is in. Apple, on the other hand, focuses on making people happy with its user experience so they’ll buy more aluminum-y goodness from them.

Back to the Kindle Fire.

Flash Support: Yes


Amazon’s got a long list here, but it’s still short an item: cameras. Hmm. How odd! How could Amazon have neglected to mention that? Very strange.

If you leave out the ecosystem stuff, the iPad has a larger screen, forward- and back-facing cameras, twice as much memory, Bluetooth, and longer battery life. Is that worth $300 more? Reasonable people can debate it. Wired’s seen the Kindle Fire and says:

The Fire isn’t a dud, but its real-world performance and utility match neither the benchmarks of public expectation, nor the standards set by the world’s best tablets.

Just so’s you know.

This is why this comparison seems like kind of a mistake to the horny one. He wonders if Amazon isn’t making the same kind of mistake Google is making with Android—that is, forgetting what business it’s in.

Amazon’s goal should be to try to sell as much stuff as possible from and push as many people into Prime subscriptions as it can, regardless of platform. Yet, Amazon’s restricting certain benefits of Prime—such as video and Kindle lending—to Kindle owners. Now, maybe these are because of contractual obligations to the content providers. And the Macalope’s sure someone in Seattle’s got a big-ass spreadsheet that shows how losing as much as $50 dollars on each Kindle Fire makes sense. But don’t forget what it is you do here, Amazon.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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