Few manufacturers are poised to do what Amazon is about to, dominate both the eReader and the tablet markets. Before you go all “iPad this and that” on me, let me say that currently there is a “tablet market” and an “iPad market”. Amazon will rule the tablet market and it might just give the iPad a run for it’s money over time, but I’m not naive and Apple has a huge head start. What I will say is, all other tablet manufacturers are about to have their lunch eaten by Amazon. Fear not tablet makers, you won’t be alone. All those would be eReader guys will be at the same table with you bitching that Amazon got their sandwiches as well. Read on to see why this Guru believes Amazon has it on lock.
Amazon can do what no other tablet manufacturer can do, subsidize the cost of a device and sell the shit out of content. Apple is in similar position as they take 30% off all app sales and subscriptions, not to mention what they make from movies, TV shows, and books. The difference is Amazon is charging $300 less than an iPad for their tablet device. Sure the iPad “does more”, but that argument holds no water for most people. All of these other Android tablets are over $300 and have little more to offer than the Kindle Fire. Look at the HP Touchpad as an example. No one would touch it with a ten foot pole at $399, but at $99 people lost thier minds trying to buy one. It’s not just the Fire that is priced right; the new Kindle starts at only $79. At the price it has entered impulse buy territory.
This is where Amazon will kill all other tablets. With a kindle Fire you have an entire ecosystem built right in. Movies, TV shows, music, apps, games, books, and magazines all from a single source at your finger tips. Other tablets might be able to “do more” but can they provide more? No? Again Apple comes close, but that circles back to my first point. Other manufacturers have the hardware and to some extent software, but no one does content like Amazon. It’s that single ecosystem that is easy for people to get into and difficult for people to leave that makes an experience great. I know few people who actually “like” iTunes, but they use it with a smile because they almost have to. With Amazon there is no bloated software, it’s all in the cloud. Easier, cleaner, and with similar content, Amazon rivals even Apple when it comes to content.
Brand Recognition and Mind Share
What’s the most successful eReader? Hell if I know, but I would say the Amazon Kindle and no one would argue with me. Why? Mind share, brand recognition. The same reason why people think Apple owns way more of the PC market than what they really do. Amazon and kindle have become a household name and people buy what they are familiar with and what they can relate to. “My cousin’s brother’s best friend’s roommate has a Kindle an he likes it”. Remember when every smart phone with a keyboard was a “Blackberry”? Well every eReader, and soon small tablet, will be known as a “Kindle”.
The Kindle was originally only available directly through Amazon.com for the longest time. It did reasonably well with only one channel of purchase. Today the Kindle is available in just about every big box retailer and reseller. With Amazon’s huge reach, they put the Kindle in front of millions of people everyday. I am sure that strategy will not change as it has done wonders for the current lineup.
A lot of attention has been put on the Kindle Fire and for good reason, it is new and shiny. However, it is not the bread and butter of the lineup. Amazon has a plan to offer a Kindle for every wallet and preference. Want a traditional E Ink display? Got it. Want new fancy touch controls? Got it. Want a full blown tablet with plenty of media? Got it. From $79-$199, Amazon has every price point and every user preference covered in their lineup. This gives them a huge advantage over other eReader competitors like Barnes & Noble who offer fewer choices in their lineup.
Will Amazon take down the mighty Apple? I honestly don’t think so. I can see people owning both an iPad and a Kindle (variety remember). Will Amazon take down every other tablet out there, yes and easily. Amazon has right price, huge selection of content, plenty of variety, and the damn thing will be in your face in every retail store you go to. In the words of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, “In terms of market share, Amazon is Coke and there isn’t yet a Pepsi”.