The Amazon Kindle Fire is one of the top gifts this holiday season. There is some new news regarding the 7' tablet sold for $199 at Amazon.com for less than it costs to make. It could be a money machine for Amazon, jailbroken for a different OS and a headache for parents.
The Amazon Kindle Fire received Consumer Reports' "Best Buy" rating and analysts note that it is more of a sales tool for Amazon than a great tablet. The Kindle Fire is the only tablet that may compete with the iPad for popularity and ecosystem.
Morgan Stanley analyst Scott Devitt believes that Amazon's main goal isn't to deliver a tablet experience that matches Apple's popular iPad but rather the large content ecosystem that Amazon has already built around the tablet, combined with its low price, will more than make up for its technical inferiority to the iPad.
"We believe that to control the monetization points of its device, Amazon.com has to facilitate the flow of content," reported Devitt "In order to do this, Amazon priced its device at $199 to drive consumer adoption. With a large installed base, app developers would have a real incentive to produce content that Kindle Fire owners will purchase."
Content isn't all that Kindle Fire that Amazon needs to control, because kids can buy a lot more than content when using a parent's tablet. Parents will find that when they hand over the Kindle Fire to kids who point to favorite toys and electronics on Amazon.com the 1-click service will purchase the product.
When the Kindle Fire is bought through Amazon.com it comes with Amazon account information preloaded and 1-click ordering. Anyone using the Kindle Fire can 1-click buy whatever they want on Amazon.com.
A father of 3-year-old, Scenic Labs founder Jason Rosenfled said that his daughter ordered a child's product. Rosenfeld stopped the sale after seeing the order confirmation email.
Kindle Fire does have the feature for parents to limit what their kids buy when using applications downloaded on the tablets. A father who is a software engineer became angered when he realized he couldn't de-register the Kindle Fire tablet he bought for his children and returned them.
Or perhaps someone could loana a Kindle Fire to a friend or relative who then buys a fortune of products from Amazon.
Kurt Roemer, chief security strategist for Citrix Systems, told Reuters that parents and other users should understand what the Kindle Fire is and how it works before letting anyone use one.
Another problem is that if a child drops a Kindle Fire, breaks it, and it has to be fixed. Do-it-yourself types will be happy to know the Kindle Fire is not that hard to fix.
When iFixit took apart the Kindle Fire they gave it a Kindle Fire a Repairability Score: 8 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair), the case is easy to open, the simple design and the LCD is not fused to the display, making replacement an easy task (if necessary), however the battery is glued to the motherboard and requires prying.
Many reviewers and analysts noted the the user experience on the Kindle Fire was less than optimal, we contend it is because the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system was developed not for tablest but for smartphones. The Kindle Fire has been hacked to used the latest version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich without Wi-Fi or audio. Those who are technically inclined and don't mind voiding the warranty may be ready for change soon.
CyanagenMod works without audio, which will be a problem with listening to music or watching videos.
The Kindle Fire has "issues" connecting to the Internet and does not have the optimal user experience.
The best features of the e Kindle Fire are the dual-core processor, free Amazon Cloud storage, cloud accelerated mobile browser and of course the $199 price. Previously reviewed shortcomings of the Kindle Fire include it uses Android 2.3(not a tablet OS) and lacks Bluetooth, cellular data, a camera and GPS. The Kindle Fire touchscreen is only 7 inches..