Apple released the first iPad in the United States in April 2010 and sold 3 million of them in the 80 days following its launch. After it was released internationally in May 2010, by the end of the year Apple had sold 14.8 million units world-wide taking a reported 75% share of the rapidly growing tablet market.

With the new and improved iPad 2 released in March of this year, as of June 2011, 28.73 million units have been sold. With these quite extraordinary facts and figures, and taking into account that Apple has sold more than any other PC related tablet products, it is difficult to imagine that any other company could compete with Apple and the iPad in the tablet market…until this week when Amazon unveiled the new Kindle Fire. 

After Amazon’s success with the Kindle in the e-reader market, they clearly see a potential to transfer their Kindle users to more advanced tablet products which will give them a more colourful way of reading books, listening to music and watching movies. Amazon aren’t just planning to release one new model, they intend to release four new models with one version with 3G connectivity. These include the Kindle Classic, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G and the Kindle Fire.

Just by watching the videos that are currently showcasing the 4 new releases on Amazon’s website, it is clear they will have something for everyone, but the Kindle Fire will be the ultimate Kindle product to compete with the iPad as it’s currently the only one with coloured screen technology.

Because the Kindle Fire is awaiting release on 15th November 2011 we simply can’t comment on its attributes, yet I think, with all the other failed attempts by several companies releasing tablet related products, Amazon may be one to watch with their ever growing Kindle loving consumers.

I have listed below a few Tech Specs for you to review:

Apple iPad2:

The dimensions of the iPad 2 stand at 9.5” x 7.31” x 0.34” – 8.8mm depth, weighing 613g. It shows off a crisp 9.7” LED backlit display with 1024x768 pixel resolution with fingerprint resistant coating and supports display of multiple languages and characters. It has built in speakers, microphone, camera and HD video recording capabilities and up to 9 hours battery life when using the Wi-Fi 3G data network. The current price depends on the storage size you require. Current UK prices stand at £499 for 16GB, £579 for 32GB and £659 for 64GB.


Amazon Kindle Fire:

The dimensions of the Kindle Fire are 7.5” x 4.7” x 0.45” weighing in at 413g. Its display is slightly smaller than the iPad at 7”, but also has a multi-touch display with anti-reflective treatment (almost the opposite to the iPad’s shiny LED display) with 1024x600 pixel resolution. The battery is expected to last up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback with the wireless turned off.

Amazon say battery life will vary based on wireless usage. It too has WI-Fi connectivity, but currently doesn’t support 3G technology which has obviously been left to the Kindle Touch 3G device.  It has a built in 3.5mm stereo audio jack and top mounted stereo speakers. Unlike the iPad, the Kindle Fire can also support PDF and DOC files which is something the iPad does not allow you to do unless you download an app which costs around £12. The Kindle Fire also supports Flash technology (unlike Apple products) which I think is the crucial selling point! It has 8GB internal storage, but has unlimited storage when using the Amazon Cloud service where you can stream your products you have purchased back and forth to your device when you require them via an internet connection.  The current pre-order price for the Kindle Fire is $199 which is around £125.


Conclusion:

So to summarise these two fantastic products, choosing between them will really be down to the consumer and their own personal needs. Although the iPad is currently the biggest selling tablet product on the market today, there are certain ‘weak’ areas in the iPad that Amazon has targeted. Although the Kindle Fire is smaller, has a lesser battery life and has slightly lower pixel res, it does have some significant selling points that could dent Apple’s success. With the Kindle Fire supporting Flash technology and access to the ever growing Android market it is certain to attract a lot of attention especially because it’s also going to be selling at a much lower price! I also think the idea of Amazon providing an unlimited Cloud storage service is certainly another unique selling point, considering the steep price increase Apple charge for 32GB and 64GB devices.

That said, Apple on the other hand must be doing something right when you go back and consider how many iPads have been sold since the start of its existence!

So the big question is…..Is the key to Apple’s success down to its perfect craftsmanship in portable technology that offers its consumers a huge range of services, products and apps, or is it possibly due to the fact that nothing has been able to challenge them until now? Amazon has already made a huge impact on the e-reading market with their number one selling Kindle products. So do they have what it takes to be classed as a competitor in an ever changing portable technology world?...Only after the release of the Kindle Fire will we have more of an idea.

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Amanda Binge
Amanda@VirtualStudio.TV