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Why tech gurus will never understand the Kindle

All the tech bloggers are comparing the new Kindles to the iPad.

Which isn’t the right analysis at all.

The Kindle isn’t targeted at techies and power users with money. It’s for moms.

I doubt the techie community can get their heads around the ad below. But Better Homes and Gardens outsells Wired 10 to 1 (7,620,932 vs 798,020 readers).

The big lesson: You are not your own market. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what everyone else wants.

kindle 1a

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  1. Chris Ferdinandi November 18, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    But Andy, the new Kindle, the Fire, IS designed to compete with the iPad. It’s an LCD screened ereader/gaming device/app tablet.

    Comparing a traditional Kindle to an iPad is foolish… and almost no real tech blogger does that. But comparing the Kindle Fire to an iPad… well, what else would you compare it to?

  2. brent November 18, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Agreed Chris… and adding that the ad above is clearly designed to get Mom to buy it for a Christmas present for someone other than herself… the kindle is the BEST reading device on the market and that’s all it is… However the Kindle Fire is a completely different animal and at this time IT IS THE BEST CHOICE for media viewing and reading because of its price as long as Wi-fi is good enough for you… the iPad is a totally different thing… it is a money hungry device designed to suck you into a blackhole of “Pay pay pay” for every breath you take… looking forward to seeing Apple FAIL and go belly up soon as Android devices squeeze them right back into building computers again.

  3. brent November 18, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    P.S. What techie reads BH&G anyway?

  4. Chris Ferdinandi November 18, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Brent, I agree that the Traditional Kindle is a much better option for reading books than an iPad. eInk is just so much nicer on the eyes.

    You over-played your hand, though, revealing yourself as an Apple-hater. The fact is, the Kindle Fire is trying to be a competitor in the tablet market, not the ereader market. That puts it in league with the iPad. It wins on price, but loses on ease-of-use and user experience hands down.

    Price may be a draw for many, but I bet ease-of-use is more important to a large number of Better Homes readers, too. Kindle Fire loses there.

  5. Matt November 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Great analysis, Andy. Spot-on as usual.

    Brent: How about this, you hate on Apple (who hasn’t forced me to pay for anything since getting my iPad), and I’ll hold on to my Apple stock and let’s see how that all works out.

  6. Karen November 19, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    Your analysis is incomplete in my opinion as a mom. You need to narrow that target audience. It’s going to appeal to techy moms who want to try every new device. It will appeal to moms who are low-tech and budget conscious who want a tablet but don’t want to make the big iPad purchase. But there’s a huge divide between these two groups that will mostly be uninterested in the Fire. My mom friends are already sporting iPads or want them. We aren’t that interested in subscribing to magazines on the Fire because we have plenty to read online or can subscribe on the iPad/iPhone.

    There’s an increasing population of moms who have an interest in tech that goes beyond how to put a hyperlink on our blog. We *get* the difference between iOS, Android and Blackberry. We *get* the difference between closed software and open source. We understand the ramifications. And we make our choices according to what we feel is best for us and our user experience. It’s not about being able to read Better Homes & Gardens and if that’s the Kindle Fire’s target, I suspect they’re going to miss the mark. Maybe I’m wrong and my circle isn’t representative, but I largely disagree with your assessment.

  7. Chris Ferdinandi November 19, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    To add to Karen’s point, the iPad isn’t some obscure thing to mothers. Everyone knows what it is, and most people are under the impression it’s really damn easy-to-use.

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