Amazon wants to take the fight to Apple, at least with regards to tablet devices. For instance, when Amazon introduced its new Fire HD tablet in the city of San Francisco in California this week, its devices chief David Limp held its newest tablet in one hand and Apple’s iPad Air in the other. The screen of the iPad Air was visibly shattered, while the Fire HD only had some battered corners. Amazon apparently had the two tablets undergo stress tests in its laboratory in Sunnyvale, and showed how its tablet performed better than Apple’s. Is this a sign of a rivalry between Amazon and Apple?
Last Thursday, Amazon took the opportunity to introduce 4 new tablet devices, as well as three TV related devices. Basically, Amazon is hoping that these devices will be the key in attracting mobile consumers during the upcoming holiday season, also known as the most lucrative season of the year, at least in terms of the volume of purchases from customers.
The four new tablet devices include a couple of new HD offerings (the Fire HD 8 and the Fire HD 10), a budget tablet that goes for $50, and a kiddie tablet that comes with a heavy duty case. As for the TV related devices, Amazon is offering a 4K ultra HD TV set top box (Amazon Fire TV), a game controller, and a device that streams video content and features a remote control with voice search capabilities.
Interestingly, Amazon is looking to compete with Apple, but not employing its rival’s tactics. While Apple is offering high end devices, Amazon is gearing more towards selling devices that are not expensive to consumers. For example, Amazon’s $50 tablet device is definitely cheaper compared to Apple’s iPad Air, which could fetch prices well above three hundred bucks.
For Apple, the aim is to get people to buy their devices, and then offer them software (apps) and services (iTunes, where consumers can get movies and music). With Amazon, they are selling budget friendly devices so that more people can get more access to the company’s bread and butter -- the wide range of products it sells that include books, movies, music, clothes, and many others.
Also, it is intriguing to note that Amazon is showing aggressiveness in products that are exhibiting signs of slowing sales recently. In the last few quarters, sales of tablet devices have been ailing (shipments are expected to drop 8 percent in 2015), and as mighty as Apple is, its iPad line of products is affected too. Is Amazon’s introduction of four new tablets a sound decision?
At least, Amazon’s tablets have a price advantage. Apart from its $50 tablet device, its Fire HD 8 tablet (8 inches) is priced at $150, while its Fire HD 10 tablet (10.1 inches) is priced at $230. And do not forget its Kids Edition tablet, which goes for $100. But will consumers purchase them though? That remains to be seen for now.
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