Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet may be nearly two months from shipping, but that’s not stopping the retailer from building buzz now. Amazon only just announced the Android 2.1-based tablet this morning, and the first commercials are ready to go. The 7-inch Kindle Fire goes on sale November 15 for $199. Wanna guess what the hot Christmas gift this year is gonna be? Hint: It ain’t iPad 2.
While geeks, tech writers and Apple fanatics will get all hung up on what’s missing — no camera, no Bluetooth, no 3G, no Android 3.x “Honeycomb” — ignore their complaints. Amazon isn’t selling techie features but a digital lifestyle — that’s crystal clear from this one video, and it resonates with marketing for Kindle ebook readers.
I’ll blog on what this means for iPad later, but briefly: Amazon is showing its retail prowess by prioritizing features and pricing that matter for living one digital lifestyle around its cloud-connected services, rather than offering the latest, hardware and software. Like Apple, Amazon is offering a stack of content and services that it controls.
But it’s apps versus the cloud, baby, and two integrated retail experiences — one from an experienced online retailer and the other from a successful wannabe. Where the twain meet is marketing; there Apple has a long history of success, but Amazon has done surprisingly well with recent Kindle advertising.
Just “Kindle it” is smart marketing. Some of the most successful products became verbs, with “Google” replacing “search” being one of the most current examples. In some international markets people “MSN” rather than instant message. “Kindle it” also captures the essence of the lifestyle Amazon is trying to sell — finding the content that’s important to you — and you is very much a part of the lifestyle, as seen in earlier Kindle advertising.
We live in a connected world, where the demands of always-persistent cell phones, social networking posts and email nag us to interact, interact, interact. But what about personal time? Your time. Time when you can disconnect. Kindle let’s you get absorbed in a book — or with Fire other content. That’s a major part of the lifestyle Amazon is pitching.
I’ll be asking for a Kindle Fire this Christmas, and will prod my wife to preorder early. And you? Will Kindle Fire set your wallet ablaze?