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

    December 16, 2011

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 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?