Using Amazon to Compare Kindle Fire to iPad

Apple customer loyalty is the stuff of legend as anyone who visited an Apple store this holiday season can attest to and to delve further into this issue Philip Elmer-DeWitt at CNNMoney did some research on Amazon to see which device customers liked better. As the Kindle Fire has only been out a short while it may be unfair to compare the devices as Apple has had some years to improve the tablet’s software. Then again, running on Android, the Kindle Fire does benefit from software updates which have been issued to solve problems faced by other tablet and smartphone makers.

The bottom line is the Kindle fire has 47% five-star reviews and 13.3% one-star reviews. This compares to the iPad at 60% five-star reviews and 7.2% one-star reviews.

Here is the one point I would add to this excellent article. Dewitt mentions that many people happy with the Kindle Fire point to price as the primary reason for their satisfaction. The iPad which starts at more than double the price has just become much more expensive as a result of this new low-cost option on the market.

In other words, when you don’t have an idea of what something should cost, you are OK paying $500 for it. But when your friends all show up to your house with a $200 tablet tucked under their arms, you may resent the extra dollars you forked over for that large black logo of “nature’s toothbrush” on the back of your device.

What this tells me is if the Kindle Fire is a solid device, doesn’t occasionally explode, etc., then over time the iPad becomes a less loved device because it is so expensive. Comparing the two devices isn’t so straightforward as the iPad is larger, has two more cameras, etc. But it seems Apple may have a problem on its hands if the Kindle Fire becomes the anti-iPad. Moreover, if it makes people comfortable with purchasing non-Apple tablets, that is also a problem for Cupertino.

But for now the stats show most people are more satisfied with Apple – let’s see how this plays out over time. I still think an iPad nano needs to be in the cards for 2012 priced in the $275-$375 range.

Disclosure: I am still an Apple shareholder

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