With Microsoft’s Windows 8 announcement out of the way, it’s almost safe to assume that it’ll be smooth sailing for us Canadians from here to Christmas. Almost. As reported here on iPadinCanada yesterday, September’s “One last thing” announcement before the holiday shopping rush, Amazon is slated to announce their own tablet for the holidays.
In cased you missed tomorrow’s news from yesterday, the new device is to be called the Kindle Fire and is purportedly to be in the 7″ form factor, much like the PlayBook, running an Amazon-optimized experience on top of Android 2.1. It’s supposed to come in significantly cheaper than other tablets on the market with all the bells and whistles that make Amazon the e-tail behemoth that it is today. And you know what? None of that actually matters. Not for us up north, anyway.
Let’s be frank. Amazon’s greatest strength is their integrated retail experience across all facets of life. Through their wide array of eBooks to DVDs and their tightly controlled logistics network, Amazon is simply crushing brick and mortar stores in the US. Not so much in Canada though. Our shopping selection is significantly smaller than our southern neighbors – no groceries, nor apparel, and not even Amazon Prime nor an Android marketplace. Apple still has a stronger foothold in this space than any of it’s other tablet rivals. Without these components, this Amazon Fire is nothing more than an Android based PlayBook with a Kindle app. In many ways, as a Canadian, I’d rather have a Kobo powered tablet than a Kindle one. (No, not really, I’d still prefer an iPad with both the Kindle and Kobo apps.) Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that the Fire will come with the same perks and benefits as the Kindle, especially the built in data access and WhisperSync that originally won me over as a Kindle user many years ago.
It pains me to say this, but the Fire may not even be available in Canada at launch. Given its weak positioning in the marketplace here, Amazon may even be wise to avoid Canada altogether. If they were to learn any lesson from the tablet wars this year, it’s that shipping a mediocre, poorly thought out product will fail regardless.
So for your sake, Amazon, stay away from Canada. It’s really for your own good.
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Posted under: iPad Rumours