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Ticonderoga: Amazon’s Kindle Fire is ‘hardly an iPad killer’

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 7:30PM EST

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Amazon on Wednesday unveiled the tablet the tech world has been waiting months to see: the Amazon Kindle Fire. We covered Amazon’s press conference live and went hands-on with the Kindle Fire as well, and our initial impressions are relatively positive. The sleek slate is portable, it’s affordable and it offers deep integration with all of the Amazon services we know and love. At the same time, the Kindle Fire could easily be caught in no man’s land. Despite the buzz on various tech blogs over the past few weeks, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White says the Amazon Kindle Fire is most definitely not an “iPad killer.” In fact, as BGR Editor-in-chief Jonathan Geller suggested during an appearance on CNBC on Wednesday afternoon, Amazon’s new tablet might not even really be an iPad competitor at all. Read on for more.

“We believe the Kindle Fire addresses a different market than the iPad 2, a tablet-light user on a tight budget that may not have yet purchased a tablet or already use a Kindle,” White wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. “Hardly an iPad killer as has been written about in the weeks leading up to this morning’s event. Our initial take on the ‘Kindle Fire’ is that the product lacks the enhanced capabilities, aesthetics, power and rich features found on the iPad 2, which is why the price point of $199 is below the $499 entry point for the iPad 2.”

White also finds the size of the slate to be an issue, but he says the biggest points of differentiation lie in Apple’s design prowess and its drive to innovate in the emerging tablet market. “We believe Apple’s long history as both a hardware and software company will continue to drive greater technological innovation in the tablet market versus Amazon. Also, the aesthetics of the Kindle Fire seem tired to us and clearly pale in comparison with the iPad 2.”

White reiterates that there is definitely a market for Amazon’s Kindle Fire as an affordable option for light users, but it is “not the market that Apple is addressing.” Apple shipped 9.25 million iPad tablets last quarter and the company is expected to beat that figure handily in its fiscal fourth quarter, which it will report in mid-October.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.