By now you’ve probably heard that two days ago Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did a Steve Jobs-like intervention, introducing not one product but a whole series of Kindle, for an unbeatable price. Their top of the line product, the Kindle Fire, is already considered as the iPad most serious competitor while costing not even half its price ($199 vs $499) will be out this November in the U.S. and is available for pre-ordering.
To enjoy fully the coming Kindle Fire, it is advised to become an Amazon Prime Member that gives you access to unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Video at no additional cost. For $79/year (the equivalent of $6,58/month) you not only have access to their video catalog but also get the two day shipping for books or objects.
Here is the trick: you don’t need to have a Kindle Fire to become an Amazon Prime Member, which means that the Prime Membership is now a direct Netflix concurrent, with more perks, and for less.
Now, think about Netflix latest moves: raising their monthly fees and splitting video streaming and DVD shipping into two companies. It would cost $15/month for a customer to enjoy what they had until now for $7,99 and as you already know, many were not happy about that news. Amazon new move is a hard stroke for a company that not so long ago was on top of the mountain, accused of holding a monopole, and whose stock lost 62% in a heartbeat.
The iPad is another story, Apple has a strong and loyal consumer base and a prestige attached to their product that preserves it from falling too quickly or at all. But the iPad elitist price and non-Flash support kept away many consumers, like me, who still consider it a luxury (and might be tired of Apple’s monopole, preferring to stay out of the centralization of their information).
From a filmmaker prospective, iPad is way ahead its competitor (and nothing tells that Amazon even wants to go there) with multiple apps made to help filmmakers bettering their projects and with customization allowing the iPad to become much more than a tablet, being used as a monitor or even a camera.
The Industry was part of the early adopters group (you just have to look around you at any Film Festivals or in any Agency. Not having an iPad is a clear indicator of where you stand or don’t stand in the industry scale.) so we’ll have to wait and see if the community will appropriate the Kindle Fire for its very particular needs or if it will stay iPad’s asset.
But like millions of people, I am an Amazon regular customer and with Netflix spinning down and iPad staying out of reach, Kindle Fire and Amazon Primer Membership seem valid options at the moment, if not the best.