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  3. > Portable Devices Market Trends
  4. > Amazon Kindle vs. Apple iPad: Two approaches to the tablet market

Introduction

Given the rapidly changing tablet market environment, and the introduction of new models in both Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire range, a re-examination of the two companies’ strategies is warranted: What are these strategies? How do they go about achieving their aims? And how have they changed since the introduction of the original Kindle Fire in 2011?

Features and benefits

* This case study examines two very different approaches to the tablet market by comparing Apple and Amazons' hardware, software and marketing strategy.
* This case study examines the slight changes in Amazon and Apple's tablet market strategies since 2011.

Highlights

Whereas Apple makes its margins selling tablet devices, Amazon hopes to grow revenue by providing consumers with a window in to its broader ecosystem through its Kindle Fire tablets.
iPad devices have received hardware upgrades calculated to be just sufficient to entice users to upgrade, demonstrating the importance of hardware sales to the company’s strategy for revenue growth.
The increased importance of emerging markets is the biggest factor in explaining the slight shifts that have taken place in Amazon and Apple’s tablet strategies since the launch of the original Kindle Fire in 2011.

Your key questions answered

* What are Apple and Amazon's tablet market strategies?
* How do Apple and Amazon's tablet market strategies achieve their objectives?
* How have Apple and Amazon's tablet market strategies changed since the launch of the original Kindle Fire in 2011?

Table Of Contents

Amazon Kindle vs. Apple iPad: Two approaches to the tablet market
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
THE GLOBAL TABLET MARKET: AN OVERVIEW
The global tablet market shows massive growth
Tablet market growth is uneven
Tablet prices are falling
Smaller form-factors have become more popular
The iPad is still a powerhouse; the Kindle Fire's success is harder to measure
HARDWARE: KINDLE FIRE PULLS AHEAD?
Kindle Fire's performance surpasses Apple's iPad
New form-factors reflect a slow shift toward the mainstream
Kindle's screen tech demonstrates Amazon's priorities
iPad treads water while Fire makes strides on battery life
Amazon's renewed focus on tech is further evidenced by its tablet's photo and video capabilities
APPLE AND AMAZON'S SOFTWARE ILLUSTRATES DIVERGENT TABLET BUSINESS MODELS
Links to Amazon content are hardwired in to Fire OS
Amazon's market place also includes physical products
Fire OS' aesthetics reflect Amazon's business model
The absence of customization options on Kindle funnels users toward Amazon content
Apple's iOS reflects Apple's ‘premium' brand image
iOS allows more customization than Fire OS, but less than most competitors
Apple agonizes over iOS' design
The Kindle Fire and iPad marketplaces: two walled gardens
Competing App Stores reflect divergent business models
Digital content is vital to both companies' tablet strategies
MARKETING, SERVICES AND OFFERS: MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SELL A TABLET
Apple and Amazon's tablet commercials reflect their differing strategies
Amazon advertises a content delivery device
Apple sells the promise of a revolutionary user experience
The geographic availability of the iPad and Kindle Fire reveals a potential pitfall for Amazon
Apple moves to acknowledge emerging markets
Amazon faces a challenge exporting its Kindle Fire business model
Apple and Amazon's promotions and services target different markets
The Kindle Fire's lock-screen ads are indicative of its place in the market
The inclusion of the Mayday button in Fire HDX models clearly illustrates who Amazon is targeting.
Amazon's Free App-A-Day offer shows how it wants customers to behave
Apple's novel approach: software as a service?
Apple and Amazon's pricing structures are a crucial part of their tablet strategies
Amazon sells at cost
Apple takes the opposite approach
CONCLUSIONS
Very different approaches, but slight convergence since the launch of the Kindle Fire
APPENDIX
Definitions
Sources
Further Reading
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