Kindle Commercial

Amazon recently released a new commercial highlighting a couple of key differences between the Kindles and the iPad. I would like to take a look at what Amazon mentions and what they don’t mention in this commercial.

What Amazon Mentions

In the commercial the woman claims, “Best way to read even in sunlight.”

The E-ink Kindles easily win this battle with the iPad and it’s not even close. In late 2011 my wife and I purchased a Kindle 4 and a Kindle Touch and used them during a week long Caribbean cruise. This is what we had to say about using the Kindles in the sun.

The Kindle was completely readable in the very bright Caribbean sun. This cannot be said of the Kindle Fire, iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone.

In the commercial the guys says, “Three Kindles that’s gotta be expensive.” The woman’s response is, “Not really, together they are still less than that.”

It is true that a person could purchase two Kindle Fires and a Kindle 4 for less than the cost of an iPad. Let’s take a look though at what you are getting if you make the decision to purchase a Kindle 4 and two Kindle Fires instead of an iPad.

You are getting a fantastic E-ink reader that allows you to purchase and read books. It’s a single purpose device that does one thing really well and that’s it.

You are also getting two Kindle Fires that allow you to do a variety of things like read books, watch movies, surf the web, and download apps. You are getting a device where the top two liked features are the price and the fact that it has a color screen. 1

What Amazon Doesn’t Mention

What Amazon fails to mention during the commercial is that the Kindle Fire uses the same backlit screen technology as the iPad and it would be just as difficult to use in the sun. This is not limited to strictly reading. It would be very difficult to watch a movie or play a game in direct sunlight.

You are also purchasing the first version of a product that has numerous complaints from consumers.

The PCWorld article Kindle Fire Customers' Biggest Complaints lists some of these concerns:

The device’s lack of external volume controls, awkwardly placed off switch, slow web browser, heavy weight, minimal storage space, and inconsistent touchscreen responsiveness are among the most frequently seen complaints in reviews and user forums.

The article Kindle Fire feels the heat states that:

Amazon has also been faced with a torrent of negative reviews on its own website for the device, a first for the Kindle family of e-readers.

Another thing that Amazon fails to mention in this commercial is that in a January 2012 survey done by ChangeWave Research only 54% of Kindle Fire owners are Very Satisfied compared to 74% of iPad owners.

Amazon also failed to mention that the iPad is a much more versatile device with over 140,000 apps2 designed specifically for the iPad.

Mike’s Thoughts

Amazon is likely trying to appeal to the consumer that is not fully educated and assumes that the Kindle Fire is as good of a product as the iPad. If the consumer believes that is the case than of course having two Kindle Fires and a Kindle 4 would be better than having one iPad.

In the commercial they show two teens using the Kindle Fire. I was curious what some of the teens that I knew thought so I asked them the following question.

Pretend you didn’t have an iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, or iPad. If given the choice would you prefer to have your own iPod Touch or Kindle Fire or share an iPad with a sibling?

I asked over 100 teens on Facebook this question and at the time this article was written 10 teens shared their preference. 50% of the teens preferred having an iPad that they would share with a sibling. 30% of the teens preferred having their own iPod Touch (same price as Kindle Fire). Only 20% of the teens preferred having their own Kindle Fire. While the sample size is very small I think that teens in general prefer Apple based devices over the competition.

I want to close this article by encouraging the reader to take a closer look at any advertisement that they see and do your own research before making a purchase. If you need help making a technology purchase feel free to contact me.