Round up #64: Firestorm #3
Reports blame iPad 3 for cut in Kindle Fire orders…
…but they’re wrong.
One of the fairly reliable sources we have is
It’s an Asian news source, plugged into the supply side of electronics.
They’ve recently reported that orders from Amazon for the Kindle Fire for the first quarter of 2012 are half of what they were in the last quarter of 2011 (going down to about three million):
Several news sources headlined this story as the cuts being made in front of the rumored iPad 3 launch from Apple.
Chronologically correct, but it would have been a big shock if Amazon didn’t sell twice as many Fires during the holiday season as they did the quarter following.
This doesn’t at all suggest that sales were disappointing, and it’s important to note that the report doesn’t say that Amazon canceled orders…just that they placed fewer orders.
Unfortunately, if it’s unrelated to an iPad 3, it’s also unrelated to a Kindle Fire 2 (whatever it might be called…I like the “Phoenix”, personally). I’m looking forward to the next models (I think there may be at least two in the fairly near future…larger screen option and/or more features ((including cameras for video chat and GPS…and I do think they would be more money).
The Kindle Fire is now part of my life
Honestly, it took much longer for me to embrace the Kindle Fire than it did for me to integrate my Kindle 1 into my life.
In part, I think that’s because there was no question that reading was going to be part of my daily life. The Kindle simply stepped into an existing activity, and did it better than the technology I had at the time (paperbooks).
The Fire, on the other hand, is having me do new things, or old things in new ways, at new times, and in new places. Not surprisingly, that’s more of an adjustment.
I’ve written before about a “Day in the Life of a Kindleer”.
I thought I’d give you a similar idea about how I use the Kindle Fire.
In the morning, I’m checking my blogs and newsfeeds using the Pulse app. I keep up with Kindle Nation Daily, A Kindle World, iReaderReview and more, all on one page.
I also check my consolidated e-mail using the e-mail app. It’s easier than on a netbook! Writing e-mails would be harder, though, but this lets me deal with the accounts I don’t use very often. It’s mostly just getting rid of things I don’t want.
In the car on the way to work, I’m listening to a free audiobook I downloaded. How I wish this was text-to-speech! Not only would I rather be listening to something I’m currently sight-reading, but unlike most people, I greatly prefer the streaming text-to-speech to the recording of an audiobook. I’m a former actor, and I find it distracting questioning the actor’s choices. On the other hand, I have far greater respect for Lou Diamond Phillips after listening to him read Dead or Alive by Tom Clancy (and Grant Blackwood). It’s very difficult to play tens of characters over the course of many hours. I was impressed with him being able to do different voices with Arabic accents, and Russian accents. He did reasonably well with female characters, not making them into cartoons or trying too hard. I was amused that the accent with which he seemed to have the most difficulty was…British. Many Americans find that relatively easy. Still, it’s better than talk radio. I’m still holding out hope for text-to-speech on the Fire this year.
At work, I may use it for documents I’ve put on there…I teach, so I may have curricula on it, for example. However, I also spend a lot of time in clinics walking around helping people. I use the Kindle Fire there to take notes about who I helped with what. I do it in ColorNote Notepad Notes.
At lunch, I’m reading. It might be a book, but it might also be a magazine. My Significant Other (SO) got me Fortean Times for our anniversary. That’s not available in the Kindle store, so we got it from Zinio.com. Unfortunately, the Zinio reader is not currently approved for the Kindle Fire (or at least, it ‘s not in the Amazon Appstore for the Fire…Zinio says it has been approved). So, for the first time, I did install a third-party app on my Fire.
I must say, that was a snap! I really like that Amazon sets it up in such a way that you can stay with the apps that they’ve tested (by getting them from the Amazon appstore), or install apps from “unknown sources’. They do warn you, properly in my opinion, that you are responsible for whatever those outside apps might do to the Fire.
To install that outside app, you just have to do
Settings Gear – More – Device, Allow Installation of Apps from Unknown Sources
I did that, followed Zinio’s instructions to install it, then turned that setting back off. I was curious if that would prevent it from working, but it didn’t. Turn the setting on, install an app, and you can turn it back off.
The Zinio app works pretty well, by the way. It remembers where I was in the magazine (the Kindle store magazines haven’t been doing that). I do end up doing “pan and scan” (sliding around the screen like a camera panning, since not enough words fit on the screen at once), because I have to increase the size of the text to read it comfortably. I can get about a column in there at a time comfortably, not the full page. Still, that’s easy enough.
I also have a subscription for National Geographic Magazine, which looks great. I read it in the “text mode”, rather than having it simulate the print edition. It still has those famous pictures that way. For $1.99 a month, I think it’s a great deal…the same as many blogs in the Kindle store, by the way.
The other magazine I’ve read regularly on it has been Entertainment Weekly: I get a Fire edition free with my print subscription.
I had tried the Wired app…since I couldn’t increase the text size, it didn’t work for me, unfortunately.
When I’m home at night or on the weekend, I may use the Fire for video. For example, the other day, I had one of the political debates going on my Fire while I was working on a netbook. The YouTube recording looked just fine. I use this case
Elsse (TM) Premium Folio Case for Kindle Fire Cover – Black (Extreme Value Buy)
and it holds it at a good angle for viewing. Why wasn’t I watching it on the TV? I had forgotten to record it, and I couldn’t find it on demand. Watching it on YouTube on my Fire worked very well for me.
Those are my main uses for the Fire. My Significant Other uses it many nights to play apps, I think mostly
Those are our typical uses…it’s enough to make it so a day would seem abnormal without the Fire in it.
How do you use your Kindle Fire poll results?
But enough about me.
Not too long ago, I polled my readers about how often they use the various features of the Kindle Fire.
I don’t cut off the polls so the results are never final, but what I have so far is interesting!
Here are the features in order of most ranked as being used regularly:
- Apps 66.01%
- The Web 61.81%
- Books 47.33%
- Video 19.68%
- The Newsstand 16.84%
- Music 8.08%
- Docs 6.07%
Here are the rankings for the least used features, based on the percentage of respondents choosing “Never”:
- Docs 49.39%
- The Newsstand 42.46%
- Music 34.62%
- Video 14.46%
- Books 5.32%
- Apps 2.77%
- Web 1.97%
So, almost everybody uses the web on a Fire, although people use apps more regularly. Even the least used feature (Docs) is used by more than half the people.
For more details, see the post I linked. Thanks to everyone who took the poll(s)!
RBC Capital analyst: Kindle Fire more profitable than expected
According to this
and many other sources, Russ Sandler, an analyst for RBC Capital, has come up with some figures for how a Kindle Fire profits Amazon.
There was a lot of reporting that they cost more to make than Amazon gets when they sell one. The idea was that they’d make it up on sales of content.
Well, the article certainly seems to indicate that is the case. I haven’t seen the full analysis (it may not be available for free), but the Forbes article has some interesting figures on purchases related to the Fire. Just to give you one, he Sandler estimates (based on surveys) that people buy five e-books a quarter. At about $10 ASP (Average Sales Price) (their estimate, not mine), that would be about $15 in revenue for books under the Agency model (Amazon gets 30% of the revenue under that system).
The Forbes article doesn’t mention the sale of Kindle Fire accessories, like covers, and it doesn’t mention new Prime converts. It will take a while before we see the impact of that, but I think that Amazon thinks that’s the real money maker with the Fire…enticing people to become Prime members by letting them borrow books and watch free streaming videos. Prime is to get you to buy physical goods with the free shipping, which is where the profit really is in e-tailing, I think. As I like to say, “it’s about diapers and windshield wipers.”
Feel free to comment on any of these stories. I’m particularly interested in other ways you might use your Fire.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.