I was watching This Week in Tech (TwiT) Live last night with guests Om Malik, Robert Scoble, and John C. Dvorak.
Part of the conversation was about how social networks and media companies are getting people used to having the media go to them in exchange for handing over more personal information.
This was more strongly emphasized by Scoble. Malik talked about Facebook and lack of transparency. He shared how he's very careful using Facebook for his communications as he doesn't know how the company is using the information they gather. I'm the same way. In fact, I don't even use my personal profile.
Before getting into that, there was a brief mention of Amazon Kindle Fire. It may be no iPad killer, however, with the Amazon retail experience and customer browsing and purchasing habits behind it, it could be the new store retail experience.
It was a comment by Malik that peaked my interest. If Amazon has to stay relevant, it needs to embrace this new world of mobile-first experience. It has chosen to do so by building an Amazon experience. So I ran a brief search and found a couple of interesting reviews to learn more.
The Kindle Fire won't have much memory or expandable storage, but it will have the Amazon Cloud Storage service, which is conveniently linked to all of your purchases of books, movies, and music. If Apple wanted a stranglehold on iOS apps, then Amazon wants a stranglehold on all media on the Kindle Fire.
Business Week quotes Bezos:
What we are doing is offering premium products at non-premium prices. Other tablet contenders have not been competitive on price and have just sold a piece of hardware. We don’t think of the Kindle Fire as a tablet. We think of it as a service.
[...] Certainly this is a for-profit business. Let’s put it this way. We are and always have been very comfortable at operating at extremely low margins.
Apple and Amazon stores have the most important information any retailer needs: credit card information. While Apple is in the business of selling hardware. The App Store is a way to sell more tablets, smartphones, etc. Amazon is in the business of selling goods and services.
The Kindle Fire then would be a place where people play and consumer content, opening the door for buying more related content and goods through it. According to Ryan Kim of GigaOM:
The Kindle Fire seems geared to not only help people play their content but shop for new things. The top option is a search field that can pull up stuff from Amazon store. Also, on the various media options below, users are able to get at their own magazines, books, videos and apps but a “store” button is usually present so people can quickly add to their library. There’s also going to be a shopping application, one of four main apps included in the Kindle Fire along with contacts, gallery and email.
They rolled out email accounts with their first Kindle, if you recall.
Is the Amazon Store the new retail experience?
Companies' performance is going to depend more and more upon how much they know about you. Which is why Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are looking to go direct with content -- and transactions. Will there be a point when people will push back?
What scenario will be more likely to go mainstream? Will the Apple iPad or Amazon Kindle Fire be under the Christmas tree?
[image source: Geeky Gadgets]