Muhammad Ali upset George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle. Buster Douglas upset Mike Tyson. Rocky went the distance with, and later defeated, Apollo Creed. Can the underdog Amazon Kindle Fire deliver a knockout punch to the reigning champ, Apple’s iPad 2? The iPad has the size, the specs and the crowd on its side. But, the Kindle Fire has heart and packs the crowd-pleasing punches tablet users want at a much lower price, $199. Are you in the champ’s corner or will you be chanting “Kindle Fire, bomaye”?
From a physical standpoint, we have a classic Ali-Foreman comparison—power and size versus maneuverability. The iPad—the “Tablet of Terror,” the “Juggernaut from Jobs,” the world heavyweight champion of the tablet world—is definitely the larger fighter here, boasting a 9.7-inch screen and weighing 1.33 pounds. The Kindle Fire—the “Amazon Annihilator,” the “Online Retail-iator” —stands in at 7 inches and .09125 pounds. For a lot of folks, bigger means better. However, the Fire is easier to hold in one hand, and you could argue that it’s more portable. Also, the Fire’s screen displays 169 pixels per square inch compared to 132 ppi on the iPad 2, resulting in clearer, more vivid images. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Round One – Features
The champ is looking to end the fight early by flaunting its superior features. With its 3G connectivity, camera and microphone, the iPad allows users to communicate on Skype and Apple’s own FaceTime, while the Kindle Fire simply lets you surf the net and check email over Wi-Fi. With no camera or microphone, the Fire may be less suited for artistic and musical creations as well. However, the Kindle Fire knows that going toe-to-toe on features alone isn’t its fight. It’ll have to play to its strengths to pull the upset victory.
Round Two – Apps
The iPad again goes for a quick knockout with a dizzying flurry of apps. For now, the massive Apple App Store dwarfs Amazon’s collection, but over time, the Fire will expand its repertoire. What the Fire lacks in quantity, it makes up for the quality apps every tablet user wants—Pandora, Angry Birds, Facebook, etc. When you consider the number of useless fart-noise apps in Apple’s Store, having only the most popular apps is enough for the Kindle Fire.
Round Three – Entertainment
The Kindle comes out in round three ready to execute its winning strategy—a focus on entertainment. It counters the iPad’s Netflix and Hulu Plus with a Netflix and Hulu Plus of its own. Amazon’s deal with Netflix—a direct competitor to Amazon’s streaming service, Amazon Prime—is intriguing because the Fire is the only tablet with both services. Users get a monthlong free trial of the $79/year Prime, which offers around 10,000 instant streaming titles. Those who subscribe to both Netflix and Amazon Prime will have a larger collection of videos on demand with the Kindle Fire than they would on an iPad. The champ is cut! The champ is cut! Round three goes to the Kindle.
Round Four – Content
The Fire unleashes its signature move—access to all of Amazon’s digital e-book, music, and video content. That’s an additional 100,000 movies and TV shows, 17 million songs, and over 1 million books. Down goes the iPad! The champ knows it has a fight on its hands, and that fight is about content, content, content.
Surprised by the Kindle Fire’s moxie and determination, the iPad continues to hammer home that it can simply do more. It’s got a word processor; its battery lasts longer; it has an accelerometer. The Kindle rallies back with its “revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser,” Amazon Silk.
- The iPad has more memory.
- The Kindle stores your files in the cloud.
- Back and forth. Back and forth.
As the final seconds tick away, the Kindle lands a series of heavy blows, as the crowd screams “$199! $199! $199!” The bell rings with both fighters still standing.
In the end, this is going to come down to a judge’s decision, and you are the judge. If you want a portable computer with 3G connectivity and a camera, the Apple iPad 2 may still be your champion. If you’re happy just surfing the net, watching videos, playing games, and reading magazines, newspapers, books and comics, the Kindle Fire is a less expensive entertainment portal. The battle begins IN STORES TODAY, and while the Kindle Fire may or may not KO the iPad 2, it ought to be the first tablet to go the distance. So tell us, who is your winner?