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Does Kindle Fire Prove A Dissonance Between Consumers & Tech Community?

Reviews Weren't Great, But People Seem To Love It

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Does Kindle Fire Prove A Dissonance Between Consumers & Tech Community?
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If you’re Amazon, apparently bad news doesn’t really matter because the Kindle Fire continues to be the #1 best selling item from their website for the 11th straight week (since its debut). According to a press release from yesterday, not only are sales of the tablet increasing with each week but this is the third week in a row that they’ve sold over one million units from the general Kindle family.

“Kindle Fire is the most successful product we’ve ever launched – it’s the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we’ve already sold millions of units, and we’re building millions more to meet the high demand. In fact, demand is accelerating – Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks. People are buying Kindle Fire because it’s a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love – watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Our family of Kindle e-ink readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. Customers continue to report preferring their Kindle e-reader for long-form reading, and in fact we’ve seen many customers buy two Kindles – both a Kindle Fire and a Kindle or Kindle Touch – this holiday season.”

Not even a mention of a pitch of how Fire will only get better after updates to fix acknowledged problems start becoming available.

So what of all that hubbub about the Fire being kind of a drag? A visit over to Amazon’s website reveals that the tablet has an average rating of 4 stars with over 6,000 reviews, which gives some pretty sound reliability to that high rating, and over half of those reviews give it the highest possible rating of 5 stars. Take this with a grain of salt given the source of this info, but even the “most helpful, critical review” still gave the Fire 3 stars.

As you see, an overwhelming amount of people still found that review to be helpful. What’s more is that the author of that review posted an update fifteen days later to say that “a recent software update seems to have fixed several of the above problems” and praises the improved performance. Although the option isn’t available, that update might have pushed the worst constructive rating – a still better-than-decent 3 stars – up higher.

Several technology sources, including this website, PC Mag, The New York Times, All Things D, and Jakob Nielsen (he disliked it so much he gets two links), have all given the Fire mediocre-to-punishing reviews and yet… people can’t seem to gobble up the Kindle Fire fast enough.

Market analysts are predicting that Amazon will sell as many as 6 million Kindle Fires before the end of this year, which would trump the first-quarter debut sales of Apple’s iPad, the tablet by which all tablets are to be compared. There’s also speculation that the Kindle Fire will grab a sizable chunk of the tablet market next year – a market that, until now, has pretty much been the dominion of Apple.

Maybe it’s the professedly easy usability of the Kindle Fire. Maybe it’s the much more affordable price tag. Maybe Amazon’s got some marketing warlocks on their payroll. Or maybe – just maybe – the tech community’s opinion is not representative of what the average person desires in a tablet. Regardless of how this discord can be explained, the Kindle Fire is not Amazon’s “most successful product” they’ve ever launched without some good reason.

If you’re a Kindle Fire user, are you happy with it thus far? Do you find that the tech community is usually spot-on about all things technological, or are you often in disagreement with the technorati?

Does Kindle Fire Prove A Dissonance Between Consumers & Tech Community?


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  • Mike Aleprete

    Can’t any of the so called tech-guru’s see what is happening??? I have a Fire and love it for it’s source base. Comon… we are talking about the biggest consumer data base on the internet… Amazon. Plus it is a quality tablet, with excellent performance. Now throw in the low, low price and of course you have a winner. Im afraid the so called reviewer’s can’t see the trees for the forest!!!

  • Don S

    Since I got mine on the day it was released, I have seen it for roughly 4-5 hours total. My wife has essentially kidnapped it and has it pretty much in her lap just about all the time. She would give it 10 stars if she could. When I told her that 3 of my 5 textbooks are available next semester in Kindle versions, she greeted me with a sad face LOL!

  • Jim S

    The Kindle Fire is GREAT for what it is. I love the ease of use and all of the Amazon functionallity. I knew exactly what I was getting and will never say a bad word about it. Most of the negitive reviews are about things it can not do such as GPS, 3G and so on. These omissions were always front and center in the pre hype. I agree that the techies have given the fire a bad rap for what reason other than it is not an Ipad. WTF. They were the ones that compared to the Ipad in the pre marking hype. Give me a break. I made the decision to buy this with out all the bells and whistles. I do wish they would allow me to have Goggle Maps and calendar on it. For this reason I may return it for a more fully featured tablet, not an Ipad.

  • Jake

    The entire review process is based on expectations and benchmarks set by the reviewer. For the same reason that most book reviewers would have missed the enormous potential of the Harry Potter series, technical reviewers will miss the value of the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire succeeds because it gives just enough performance, with the right mix of functions, at a very attractive price. In a market that generates obsolescence in a very short time, purchasing a high end ipad2 is not cost effective unless you have no worries about money. Consumers are usually smarter than reviewers…

  • Firefan

    I love mine! I read with inverted text (black with white letters) to make it easier on my eyes. As far as the touch screen goes, just get a $5 stylus for it and problem solved! Also, for the on screen volume control, I got headphones with volume control – problem solved! Also got a lightweight landscape stand that snaps on like a cover and stays on the Fire all the time for watching videos. I love the deals Amazon has on video on demand (every day there’s a different newer release movie for 99 cents to $1.99 – I download those and watch them on the NYC subway). All that and it fits in my purse! I love my Fire!

  • mike kirby

    At last a”tech” reviewer who has got it,well done I live in south Africa and don’t get cloud access but I bought one and love the thing I read hundreds of usa tech reviews and came to realise you people live in a world I do not want to be part of,gingerbread ,ice cream sandwhich!!!!!!,the best review site is amazon itself it publishes all reviews good and bad,not from super biased apple moonies,I found this review on the web in sa on my kindle fire,typed this comment and sent it to you lying in bed,try that with an I pad,oh,I don’t think I need to tell you but tell all the clever techies if they struggle with the keyboard “turn it horizontal” and if you want to understand the real impact of this device do some maths, 6million x an average annual spend on the amazon site of say 750 dollars per kindle fire owner( I have spent 500 in 3 weeks) that’s why they can sell it for 199 dollars and afford updates which I didn’t even include in the turnover and this is just Usa sales rumours are it goes out in Europe early 2012 and I suppose other places too (amazon are recruiting like mad here in sa) suppose cloud accedes will come too or local clouds add those numbers up wow!!!!!!! Go buy some amazon shares I think, by the way apple is another great American compaany it just seems to attract clever idiots

  • Jim

    I preordered a Fire and like it. I got my wife an iPad 2 earlier in the year, so I know what a tablet can do, and the Fire does everything I need it to. I got two Fires for my daughter and her husband for Christmas. It never in a million years would have occurred to me to get them each in iPad and if it had I would have laughed at myself.

  • Herbert Snow

    The tech media community is filled with idiots and geek wannabes hipsters. I have no faith in them. The Kindle Fire is awesome BTW.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Drew Bowling

      I’m going to presume that yours truly is excluded from that assertion. ;)

  • http://Www.tehrani.com Rich

    To paraphrase from politics – its the the price stupid. At $200 it is much more easy to justify. For many, the cost is equal to about two weeks of going to Starbucks. I am sure tech bloggers and thought leaders wouldn’t give great reviews to Wal-Mart either yet, price is a powerful motivator in brick and mortar as well.

  • Tablazines

    Not really news as the tech community has never really understood the average consumer. There’s always been a disconnect between the two.

    The tech community couldn’t understand why the the iPod sold so well while lacking things like an Fm Tuner that so many other mp3 players had.

    The iPad was simply a giant iPod… It will never sell. Not realizing how the larger screen changed the dynamics.

    I have an iPAd and and I just purchased a Kindle Fire for my daughter. The big deal for the initial purchase was the price and I know Amazon would provide the content to keep her interested.

    For most this will be their first introduction to tablets and while the tech industry may find faults… For the consumer it works… And works well. It’s the only $200 tablet even worth considering.

  • Sid

    Usage note:
    The traditional distinction between amount and number is that amount is used with mass or uncountable nouns ( the amount of paperwork; the amount of energy ) and number with countable nouns ( a number of songs; a number of days ). Although objected to, the use of amount instead of number with countable nouns occurs in both speech and writing, especially when the noun can be considered as a unit or group ( the amount of people present; the amount of weapons ) or when it refers to money ( the amount of dollars paid; the amount of pennies in the till ).

  • http://www.facebook.com/notes/security-camera/alert-logitech-wireless-outside-cameras/286375034734522 ALERT LOGITECH

    Kindle Fire is the most current trends

  • http://solarpowerenergytoday.com James Nord

    I bought my wife the iPad when it first came out and she like it

  • http://solarpowerenergytoday.com James Nord

    I don’t know anything about Kindle Fire,the first time i heard anything about it because i don,t use any kind but it sound good.

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