Amazon’s New Tablet, The Kindle Fire

There is a buzz today about Amazon’s new Kindle Fire, a tablet intended to compete with Apple’s iPad. I first heard the announcement on the radio this morning while munching my breakfast—and I have already received three press releases about it.

Apple reportedly sells 7 out of every 10 tablets, with more than one competitive product left floundering—or having drowned—in its wake. Amazon’s Kindle Fire is competitively required to protect Amazon’s Kindle-loyal readers and all the books that they consume. Karl Volkman, of Chicago-based SRV Network, Inc., notes that Amazon’s foray may be successful because:

  • The Kindle Fire costs far less than Apple’s iPad 2.
  • The Kindle Fire will run a revved-up version of Google’s Android software, an operating system that has given Mac’s iOS software a run for its money on smart-phones.
  • Kindle’s existing momentum as a more popular alternative for reading books than the iPad.

What does this mean? There is now one more device for publishers to work with and more device for people to consider, with the e-reader/tablet market becoming more congested before it becomes clearer. The result is that publishers—and consumers—who pick the wrong device will be left with old hardware they can’t use and books that they can’t read. (How many audio cassettes, video disks, and VHS videotapes do you have laying around?)

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.


Heavy Users of Print Also Embrace Digital

While the conventional wisdom is that as people who read go electronic, they abandon print. It makes sense, but is it true?

In this regard, the July issue of Folio magazine shares some interesting findings from a survey conducted by GfK MRI. Specifically, tablet owners are 66% more likely then the average US adult to be heavy users of printed versions of magazines. Furthermore, e-reader owners are 23% more likely to be heavy print users.

Therefore, an increase in electronic reading does not signal a decrease in reading print.

(Other interesting findings of the study: men are more likely to own tablets and women are more likely to own e-readers. Also, e-reader owners are mostly reading books, at 87%; magazines come in at 15% and newspapers, 14%. Tablet owners are more even, with book reading at 57%; magazines, 39%; and newspapers, 41%.)