The newest offering from Amazon, the Amazon Kindle Fire, is a genius stroke to expand its core business of being the world’s marketplace! The key is in the fact that the device’s sole purpose is to minimize the friction of acquiring and consuming electronic media of many stripes (i.e. ebooks, video, music). And by doing so via its impressive computing infrastructure, Amazon is able to also tap into its customers’ browsing and consumption behavior to feed its omnivores even faster.
It is particularly telling that Jeff Bezos is honest enough to state:
We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.
At this point, Amazon’s not competing with Apple; Kindle Fire to iPad comparisons are oranges and apples (pun intended!). Amazon is instead pursuing its original intention all along, by taking on the entire digital media industry and making Amazon an indispensible, frictionless, and fast service provider to consumers everywhere.
Based on John Walkenbach’s prophesyinglast year, it seemed like Amazon was really headed down the road of free Kindles. However, this new development makes far more sense; if the consumer’s perceived value of the device continues to fall, and Amazon’s more interested in selling the higher-margin e-books, then it could be conceivable that Amazon’s looking for a way to subsidize the continuing hardware costs with an advertising play.
While this play is sensible from Amazon’s standpoint, I do pine for the days when we weren’t inundated with ads. It seems that all sorts of mediums and devices are being saturated with them, when I actually crave a simple, straightfoward, elegant, and uninterrupted experience that’s free of them. Why can’t there be another way: to pay for no ads, no interruptions, no distractions?
Conclusion: Seems like the day when the Kindle (in its current form) is free isn’t too far off. But, does it have to come with the price of ever-increasing ads vying for our eyes?