Kindle Fire HD

This afternoon, Amazon announced some new versions of the Kindle Fire, nicely equipped and really priced to move. In fact, we will learn in the coming days that Amazon is taking a loss on each model with the hopes of selling more content (books, audio, and video) in the future. The big news is the coming 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD which will arrive in November.

If you choose to buy one–go for it. I’ll be purchasing at least one iPad mini around the same time.

In terms of education, the Kindle Fire is still a non-starter:

  1. There is no way to manage devices or load apps (and even though the iPad has this, it’s still a challenge).
  2. There is no wireless streaming, the home run of iOS devices (iPad 2 and later).
  3. There are some good apps that are on the iPad, too–but what about apps like Apple’s core? iWork? GarageBand? iMovie? Are the creative developers able to make a buck here? Much of what I’ve read about Android app sales says otherwise. Meanwhile, iOS tends to be more lucrative.
  4. And for our profession, what about music specific apps, like forScore, unrealBook, Octavian, etc.
  5. Is there an iBooks or iBooks Author for Amazon/Kindle Fire HD?
  6. And is 8.9″ big enough for the comfortable display of music? Am O wrong in saying that many people felt 9.7″ of the iPad was too small?
  7. And finally, what about the quality of the retina screen on the iPad? Many people, after experiencing retina, won’t go back. And you’re not getting retina at those Amazon price points.
  8. Did you notice that Android 4.0 is at the core of these new devices? What about fragmentation in the future, app compatibility, and so on? It’s challenging enough when Apple moves iOS one time per year on three basic devices.

Really, I wish Amazon well, and I buy a lot of things from them. I’m just cautious about any company willing to take a perpetual loss on hardware to sell software (i.e. content). I’ll look forward to trying these out when they appear in stores.

Correction (9/9/12): It appears that the Kindle HD has a high resolution screen–not as many pixels as the new iPad, but certainly more than the iPad 2.  The screen itself, from what journalists are saying, is quite nice.


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