Apple Welcomes Kindle Fire Tablet and More Android Fragmentation

Business Insider shares a portion of a research note issued today by Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes, who recently visited with Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Peter Oppenheimer in a meeting that included discussion of Amazon's new $199 Kindle Fire tablet based on Android.


According to the executives, Apple welcomes the entry of the Kindle Fire to the market for its ability to further fragment the Android ecosystem. While the Kindle Fire does utilize Android, it has been heavily modified by Amazon to integrate specifically with Amazon's products and services.

While the pricing at $199 looks disruptive for what seems to be the iPad’s most important rising challenge, the Amazon Fire – it is important to note that it could fuel further fragmentation in the tablet market—given it represents yet another platform. While compatible with Android, the Apps work with Amazon products. The more fragmentation, the better, says Apple, since that could drive more consumers to the stable Apple platform.

Reitzes notes that he believes Apple will eventually lower pricing on the iPad, but will not compromise on quality and customer experience to approach or match its competitors' pricing.

Apple and Amazon are approaching the tablet market from opposite perspectives, with Apple achieving significant profitability on the hardware while selling content and services at near break-even prices. Conversely, Amazon is said to be taking a loss on sales of the Kindle Fire, using the device to attract customers into its content and product ecosystem.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
114 months ago
I see the Kindle as its own product and eco-system. Sure it runs Android, but I don't think of Android nor will most consumers - they'll just see Amazon (which is a winner for them).
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago
I wouldn't consider this fragmentation. While that is a true problem of the Android ecosystem, the Kindle Fire isn't really Android in the sense most people would imagine. It's not designed to be a tablet computer, it's designed to be a handheld media player for Amazon content.

I'd imagine 90% of the people who buy this have no idea it has anything to do with Android.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago

Only thing is - the fire isn't trying to be the iPad.

And I don't think fragmentation plays into this at all.

The fire is a media consumption device - so as long as there's a good audio/video player + eReading software - most of the people buying it will be content. Sure there will be games and possible issues. But I think Apple is missing the mark on this product. I don't think anyone buying the Kindle is aware what software is on it - nor do they care. It's not the same as with phones where people want to know if they have 2.1, 2.3, etc on it (and to be honest - I think most of the general population doesn't care anyway). I know many people who have never updated their OS from the one that shipped with their phones. And I say that across the board whether they own iPhones or other devices.

I see the Kindle Fire more as "Amazon's tablet" rather than Amazon's "Android" tablet.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago

Yup. It's a sort of "divide and conquer" observation. Google is clearly going the route that Microsoft went down - and Apple rightly applauds this.


Poor Microsoft, and their 90% OS market share.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago
Kindle Fire can be successful because it's not an "Android Tablet", it's a Kindle Fire. It's unique to Amazon and it is part of the successful and well-known Kindle product line. It just happens to run Android.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
114 months ago
Only thing is - the fire isn't trying to be the iPad.

And I don't think fragmentation plays into this at all.

The fire is a media consumption device - so as long as there's a good audio/video player + eReading software - most of the people buying it will be content. Sure there will be games and possible issues. But I think Apple is missing the mark on this product. I don't think anyone buying the Kindle is aware what software is on it - nor do they care. It's not the same as with phones where people want to know if they have 2.1, 2.3, etc on it (and to be honest - I think most of the general population doesn't care anyway). I know many people who have never updated their OS from the one that shipped with their phones. And I say that across the board whether they own iPhones or other devices.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Unreleased iPod Touch with Mac Pro Glossy Black Finish Shared Online

Sunday August 2, 2020 11:32 am PDT by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today posted images of what seems to be a first-generation iPod Touch prototype with a 2013 Mac Pro-style glossy black finish. The Twitter user claims that the iPod Touch prototype pictured has "the same coating as the 2013 Mac Pro." Had the finish been selected for the final product, it also would have been similar to the metallic glossy black finish that...

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...