Amazon has entered the tablet market. The Kindle Fire, however is not an “iPad killer”. Calling it that is to miss the point completely. Amazon has a wealth of content that they want to sell you. Kindle books, the Amazon MP3 Store, Amazon VOD, and the Amazon App Store for Android. All of these services, Amazon wants you to use, and they want to make it easier for you to access these services. All of these content services that Amazon has been developing, including Amazon Web Serives, have been leading to the Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire simply serves as a conduit to that multitude of that content that Amazon has to offer, just as the iOS device of your choice is a conduit to the content available in the iTunes Store and the iOS App Store. People forget that without the content, all these devices can do are personal information tasks (contacts, calendars, email) and surf the web. This content is what adds the real value to the iPad and the Kindle Fire. The content makes the device.
Amazon will succeed here because they have what other entrants into this space don’t have (looking at you RIM), a strong and thriving content ecosystem. Kindle books outsell their dead tree counterparts in a lot of cases these days. Amazon VOD delivers content just as quickly as iTunes, and with an Amazon Prime membership, becomes even more attractive. The Amazon MP3 store is routinely cheaper than iTunes and the Cloud Player enables a “listen anywhere” experience that iOS is just now implementing. The Amazon App Store for Android has a “try it” feature that no other app store can offer. Their content is primed and ready, they just needed a device to bring it all together, and today we got that.
The device is not the big story here. The device is a commodity. The ease-of-access to the content is the big story, along with the new web browser, but that’s a whole other ball of wax (privacy concerns, anyone?). This is the first real challenger to the iOS ecosystem, and I think that because of the content it brings to the table, it will have the best chance of succeeding.