February 6, 2012
Kindle Fire Owners Happier Than iPad Owners, Or Maybe Not
Amazon´s tablet offering, the Kindle Fire, found its way to customers in November of last year just in time for the holiday sales season to much ballyhoo by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in October. Sales of the device have been strong and could be considered a worthy alternative to other market rivals.
But how satisfied are customers with the lower priced mobile reader? ChangeWave Research interviewed 254 Kindle Fire owners to find out.
What the research firm discovered could not be considered conclusive. Some could interpret the results to say the Kindle Fire is a disappointing bust, as well as by those who see the device as a well-made, low-cost iPad alternative, reports Jason Gilbert for Huffington Post.
Fifty-four percent responded to the Kindle Fire as “Very Satisfied,” while 38 percent gave a “Somewhat Satisfied” rating. A similar survey of Apple´s iPad owners in November revealed 74 percent were “Very Satisfied” in their choice of product.
The Kindle Fire comes across, to some, as cheap, clunky and non-functional, and a weak replacement for the iPad. It appears that simple aspects could be revised to give users a more positive experience with the Fire.
A lack of volume up/down button seemed to annoy them the most, with 27 percent responding that this was what they disliked most about the device. The absence of a camera also ranked high at 21 percent, as did a perceived shortness in battery life at 15 percent.
To others, perhaps with no need for the slickest and fastest device, applaud it as a fundamentally different kind of tablet than the iPad. Being smaller and less expensive but still user-friendly, can still do everything on the multimedia side you could reasonably want a $200 tablet to do.
Kindle Fire owners did like some things very much, such as the $199 price tag with 59 percent making this the top “like” for the device. A color screen was seen as very positive with 31 percent expressing satisfaction and 27 percent enjoyed the overall usability, reports MSNBC´s Athima Chansanchai.
It has been estimated by AllThingsD that Amazon has sold 5.5 million Kindle Fires last quarter, up from a previous estimates of 4.5 million. Amazon is predicted to sell 18.4 million this year. GeekWire reported that Seattle, where Amazon itself is based, ranks first in Kindle Fire ownership with 1 in 124 residents claiming they own one.
These sound like impressive numbers for a device that is playing the “me too” card when it comes to a market defined by Apple´s iPad, estimated to put 48 million new tablets into people´s hands this year.
The sales and satisfaction numbers can be spun in any direction but what should be taken from them is that there is a healthy market for tablet devices of all shapes, sizes and prices. If you want an e-reader than browses the web, you can have that. If you wish a high-end media viewer that doubles as your personal library, that is available as well.
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