Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kindle Fire: Will It Work Out? by Linda Rohrbough

Editor’s Note: The opinions in this article are that of the author, and do not imply endorsement of any particular product by the Pikes Peak Writers.

I have seen a bunch of nay-sayers online about the color Kindle Fire. I say it’s about time. Amazon was about to be left in the dust if they didn’t go to color, so I applaud them for being smart enough to make the move and at an affordable price.

Eye-Opening History
In the late 1980’s, I was a technology reporter when the PC and the Mac were neck and neck. IBM made the decision to go to a color display, even though color CGA resolution was pathetic. Steve Jobs at Apple decided CGA resolution was too poor and stayed with higher resolution black and white.
The result? The PC took off with consumers. Apple was left with ten percent of the market share, a position they still hold in the computer market today. More recently, when cellular phones went to color, everyone had to have one. Color is king when it comes to consumer adoption of new electronic devices. And the Kindle Fire is going to feed that hunger.

Why the Tablet Fire Sales?
I’ve heard several industry analysts express confusion about why the newly introduced tablet computers didn’t take off. In fact, HP and others have dumped their new tablets in “fire sales” where they’ve slashed prices. Why?
Compatibility. These new tablets are not compatible with much of anything and they’re expensive. My iPhone app publisher wanted to port their stable of apps to the Android, which is the operating system most of the tablets are using. But they gave up the plan because they’d have to create a minimum of six different versions to fit the six most popular versions of the Android operating system. (Actually there are more than six, but you get the idea.)
And without apps, the tablets are just about useless. Plus, once you get to a $400+ price tag, you might as well bite the bullet and get an iPad. It’s not that much more and you get so much more with it.

Bottom Line
The Kindle Fire is color, it’s fast, it’s small enough to fit in a woman’s purse, and it’s under two hundred dollars. I think it’ll be a winner. This new browser, Amazon Silk, with cloud computing they’re touting sounds kind of ambitious. And if it doesn’t work well, which is likely with a first cut of new technology, it’ll be disappointing. But I think consumers will bear up if they can get books quickly on demand, they have color, and some ability to browse the web. I’ve got one on order, so what does that tell you?

About the Writer:  Linda Rohrbough has been writing since 1989, and has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for her fiction and non-fiction. New York Times #1 bestselling author Debbie Macomber said about Linda’s new novel: "This is fast-paced, thrilling, edge-of-the-seat reading. The Prophetess One: At Risk had me flipping the pages and holding my breath." She recently won the 2011 Global eBook Award and the 2011 Millennium Star Publishing Award for her new novel. An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website: