Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

Summary: The Kindle Fire will expose millions of consumers to a rich online user experience because of the cheap price. This will turn personal computing into a commodity and change everything.

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TOPICS: Amazon, Hardware
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Amazon has kicked off a fuss with the announcement yesterday of the Kindle Fire. The most significant features of the Kindle Fire are the price, $199, and the focus on presenting all kinds of media in a method easy to use.

It is to computing what the original Kindle was to ebook reading, making it easy to buy books and then read them immediately. The Fire also has computing capability baked in, and this total package is the beginning of computing as a commodity for the masses.

Also: CNET live blogAmazon’s Bezos unveils Kindle Fire; color tablet computerAmazon’s Kindle Fire; At $199, finally a viable college tabletAmazon’s Bezos unveils Kindle Touch, $99; Kindle, $79 | CNET: Amazon unveils trio of Kindle e-ink readersLooks like Amazon took back the lead for dedicated ebook readers

Apple started the movement with the original iPad, but chose a better path for the company in keeping the tablet aimed at the higher end of the market. The move was a great one for Apple, and sales and profits bear that out. It was the beginning of the post-PC era as Steve Jobs is fond of pointing out, where millions of users discovered they didn't need a heavy personal computer to do most of the things they want to do outside the workplace.

Whatever you may feel about the validity of the post-PC era, make no mistake that Amazon has firmly ushered in the "PC as a commodity" era with the Kindle Fire. The little tablet may be focused on life as a content consuming device, but the web browser and Android underpinnings make this a full-blown computer for just two hundred bucks.

As more consumers get exposed to the Kindle Fire and discover that much of what they currently use a computer for can be done on this cheap little tablet, the perception of what a computer really is will begin to change. The realization that much of what they do with a computer outside of the workplace is just a few taps away will radically change the way mainstream consumers buy and use PCs.

The rich user experience coupled with the full online experience is going to impact millions who would otherwise not realize such utility existed. They are going to get exposed to this thanks to the low price of the Kindle Fire, and it is going to change how they compute outside the workplace. The Kindle Fire will rapidly become a commodity, and this is exactly what Amazon intended. Amazon doesn't want to compete with Apple or Android, it wants the Kindle Fire to be a commodity that everyone owns and uses.

Topics: Amazon, Hardware

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  • It's a High-Tech Version of the JC Penney Catalog

    Just that the JC Penney catalog only costs you a few dollars, and you get a coupon that's good towards purchases.
    WebSiteManager
    • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

      @WebSiteManager It is a little more full-featured then a JC Penney calalog! Can you watch movies, listen to music, play games, browse the web, etc.?
      clcrockett
      • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

        @ccrockett@... You can use it to consume the stuff Amazon sold you. How many people will venture past Amazon? Certainly consuming their stuff is more than merely buying it, but it doesn't equate the commoditization of *computing* beyond Amazon, and I don't think it will for most people. As such, I think it will be closer to the JC Penney catalog in effect than to the revolution in computing James foresees.
        WebSiteManager
    • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

      @WebSiteManager I take it you don't own a Kindle. I own both a Kindle and an ipad. The ipad is not what it is cracked up to be. With out flash player it's use is limited. The Kindle is great.
      kunkeljm
      • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

        @kunkeljm
        I have a tablet PC with a Kindle Reader. May put me closer to a Kindle Fire than your Kindle. ;-) I'm not saying the Kindle is a bad product. I just don't think it will reshape the computing market. I believe it will provide an incredible shopping and consumption experience for Amazon content/products.
        WebSiteManager
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    Heard this one before, don't see it happening. You mean tablets have become a commodity, not PCs. But then again people have been saying this for quite some time and nothing's come of it just like when they say 'Post-PC era'.
    LoverockDavidson_-24231404894599612871915491754222
  • Another "game changer"

    It's funny how the game supposedly changes so much. Sorry. Same thing, different day. Another vendor lock-in cloaked in the "internet security" bogeyman dress. They are subsidizing the device to sell you stuff, much like a cell phone or a video game console.
    happyharry_z
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    10" is the sweet spot when talking replacing computing tasks, IMO. I think Apple got it right in standardizing on the larger 10" factor for a post-pc experience. I see the Kindle Fire as more a cheap media/ consumption device than anything else. Screen size does matter. :-)
    dave95.
  • Yes sure

    Because a company, whom most costumers are in U.S.A and nowhere else, decide to subsidize their tablet to push customers to consume their services, then it means that commoditization of computing has begun ?<br>Are you kidding me ?<br>If a product category had the capability to start real computing commoditization, it would have been netbooks.<br>Netbooks are cheap TRUE computers which just happen to be underpowered. They can do whatever this toy can do and much more.<br>However what happen to netbooks, again ?<br>Weren't they supposed to kill notebooks and replace them ?<br>What did they fail again ?<br><br>So if netbooks fail at commoditization of computing, i don't see this "toy" succeed at the same game.<br>Btw, computing has become a commodity since quite sometimes as PC are quite cheap devices yet which can run circles around this toy.
    timiteh
  • Nonsense!

    There may be millions of suckers who see it as the next status symbol, but there is nothing it does that I can't already do without it.
    ron.cleaver@...
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    "The little tablet may be focused on life as a content consuming device, but the web browser and Android underpinnings make this a full-blown computer for just two hundred bucks."

    Wrong. On a computer, or even an iPad, I can use Netflix, Pandora, Barnes & Noble, Hulu & many other things that aren't in Amazon's interest to let me use. A computer has flexibility & functionality as opposed to this appliance-like device.
    kingcobra23
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    commoditization of computing is 450 million Windows 7 sold so far, in 2Q11, 85 million PC were shipped. Windows is so ubiquitous, such a commodity, that HP can't compete with generics
    timjones170
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    I want to weigh-in on the article itself. I find it to be poorly written, highly repetative and with almost no real content. There was perhaps two, maybe three sentences with actual content with the rest being re-worded repetition and fluff with a bit of sales thrown in. Sorry, but James Kendrick either needs a better education in journalism or replacement.
    Ubercuda
  • James, you live on another planet than I do...

    "The little tablet may be focused on life as a content consuming device, but the web browser and Android underpinnings make this a full-blown computer for just two hundred bucks."

    I bought a MSI netbook over a year ago for $200, now that was a full blown computer. It also has a keyboard and runs an OS and software that lets me do real work.

    There's nothing remotely resembling a full blown computer in an iPad or Android tablet.

    Cheers!
    ken.potter@...
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    Because this device is subsidized and Amazon makes the big bucks on the content/storefront, you can count on two things.

    1. Hardware upgrades will not be a priority. Amazon has to recoup the dev costs.
    2. OS upgrades will not be a priority. Amazon will simply wait on the next outdated Android OS that is "good enough" to modify for their purposes.

    What will Google do to stop Amazon from co-opting Android?
    If this device is successful, where will Android devs go?
    What will Android OEMs do since they don't have a content ecosystem to subsidize their devices?
    Synthmeister
  • What a bunch of nonsense!

    From the hyperbolic description from the author about this simple tablet, it sounds like the world of computing has just been redefined and reinvented, and no other tablet will ever be able to compete, and people will start doing things they couldn't do before with whatever desktops or laptops or netbooks or tablets or smartphones they had before. <br><br>Whereas, the reality is that, the device is nothing more than a simplified and smaller tablet, with an older OS and very limited with the capabilities assigned to it, including not using it like a "regular" tablet. <br><br>Somebody must be getting paid handsomely for the hype in the headline and in the first 2 paragraphs of the article. In fact, this does not sound like an article at all; it reads more like a paid advertisement for Amazon.
    adornoe
  • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

    And by the way, I am posting this from India where the rumour mills are abuzz with the expected announcement of a $35 tablet...this year. :-)
    myother
    • I heard the same think last year, and the year before that

      about the $100 computer.

      And here we are, a few years down the line from the hype of the $100 computer, and, still nothing of the sort.

      Perhaps if Obama would take the seemingly never-ending funding that's going into the green jobs 'economy', we could all get "free" or $100 tablets and computers and gaming systems.

      The cheap or "free" tablets in India will not be, free or cheap, since it would be getting subsidized by government funding, which is really money from those that do work.
      adornoe
      • RE: Kindle Fire: The commoditization of computing has begun

        @adornoe@... You've got to be kidding. In only 4 yrs we have seen computing devices drop from $500 to $199 and you don't see less coming at you soon? What palnet you living on? I picked up 2 WindowsXP devices in China almost 18months ago for $150 each - one was a keyboard form factor that you simply connect to a monitor, the other a netbook. both ate still working in our Education Labs. The Xo is now at about $220 complete with application software. Wake up mon!
        myother
  • kindle fire

    this tablet is so powerful that can not only support ebooks ,but also support music and video.
    http://www.epubor.com/transfer-itunes-protected-music-videos-to-kindle-fire.html
    epuborrenee