Kindle Fire: Is It aBlaze or aFlame? Time Will Tell

If you’re a gadget geek who has to have the latest Apple, Amazon or Android toy, now may be the time to join AA or AAA…no, that’s not what I meant to say. If you’re a gadget geek who has to have the latest…whatever, maybe you should not let the person you’re most accountable to financially read this post.

When I reviewed Amazon’s Kindle Fire in a recent post, I concluded that it was a ‘buy and hold’. Does that mean I’ve placed my pre-order? First, I’d first have to do some ‘negotiating’ with my wife over the purchase of yet another hot, new gadget. Before I approached her, I took the time to do some soul-searching regarding the new tablet of my eye. A tiny voice whispered in my ear, “Do you really need a Kindle Fire?”

Kindle Fire or Flame

That’s almost an unfair question to ask someone who purchased an Apple Iic computer at a time when most people questioned if anyone really needed a personal computer. It’s almost unfair to ask that question to a person who registered his personal 4-letter domain name ( at a time when he could have just as easily registered ken or joe or I could go on and on about the fairness of the ‘Do you need’ question. The truth is this; some people are bleeding-edge adopters of technology. It’s somewhat like a craving addiction to new tech.

But, like any addiction, habits should be kicked if the are harmful, and can be kicked if they are simply non-productive. In my case, it was sometimes the latter. When I realized I had been feeding the gadget dealers like a junkie on horse, I made my first step toward early adopter freedom.

When Apple released the first iPad in 2010, I wanted to get up at 4:00 am, go to my local Apple store and stand in line with other gadget junkies to get our electronic fix. I resisted. Instead, as time passed, I began reading everything I could find about the iPad, especially what it might do to increase my productivity and enhance my creativity. It didn’t appear to be a productivity tool, but I saw the potential. There were some creative apps, but not very sophisticated.

So I began preparing content for the next generation the iPad. When the iPad2 hit the streets, I placed my order on-line and waited patiently for it to arrive. Just because I ran to the door whenever I heard a FedEx truck in my neighborhood doesn’t mean I was becoming impatient. I’m just friendly towards delivery drivers.

Within a matter of months after working with the iPad2, I had a 100+ page ‘coffee table book‘ which I had created directly on the device. The newer tablet (along with apps) had matured enough to make it a productivity tool.

I still consider the Kindle Fire a ‘buy’, though it’s not yet useful for content creation. Nor is it clear it will even display interactive book content.

In the article, “Sparking eBook Sales with Fire, Dev Ganesan writes, “One unanswered question is whether the Fire tablet will be able to access books currently being sold as ‘Kindle Editions with Audio/Video”. This new tablet, if so enabled, could be a unique opportunity for Amazon to support enhanced titles”.

I looked closely at Jeff Beboz’s presentation to see if any of the screen shots showed interactive ebook content. I did see children’s titles, which often are interactive, but the images may have merely been static PDF files.

The new Kindle has yet to show me it’s a fire. From my content producer vantage point, it’s launching a flame. For consumers, Kindle Fire will most likely be a blaze.

Kindle Fire may never develop the muscle to be a content creation device. That may not be in their DNA. However, I do hope it will at least display enhanced ebook titles. For the time being, I’ll ‘hold’ back my purchase.

Maybe I’ll let my wife read this after all. She might give me a treat for acting like a mature adult instead of a geek in a gadget store.

Will you purchase the Kindle Fire soon? Why?


Leave a Reply