Six Ways the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire Are Different

Most of you who read the articles here at LockerGnome consider yourselves technology aficionados, keenly aware of the major differences between the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Apple iPad. However, some consumers are not aware that Amazon is coming out with a tablet model and this article is written for those consumers who are pondering their tablet computing future.

Many consumers do not have the $500 to plunk down on a new Apple iPad tablet computer. A woman I encountered last week was questioning if I knew of an inexpensive tablet computer, priced at under $250, that would provide basic services such as the ability to surf the Internet, check her email, and play her favorite games. At this moment, the only device that I know of that will fit this order will not be available until November 15th, 2011. At that time, Amazon will be introducing its new Amazon Kindle Fire, which is touted as being an inexpensive answer to the Apple iPad. So how does one explain why the new Amazon Kindle Fire is so different from the most popular tablet computer on the planet, the Apple iPad?

Well, after giving some thought as to the similarities and differences between the two brands, I realized that their most obvious distinction rested in how different they are, not their similarities. In my personal opinion, here are some of the major differences that consumers need to be aware of.

  • Price: Apple iPad’s $500 vs. Amazon Kindle Fire’s $200 is the biggest difference, and the one I believe will drive Amazon Kindle Fire’s success.
  • Size: The Apple iPad screen is approximately 10″, while the Amazon Kindle Fire screen is approximately 7″.
  • Storage capabilities: Amazon is going to rely on the cloud to store the majority of a user’s information, whereas Apple relies on the storage capabilities of the device itself for many of the functions it performs. That difference means that less hardware storage equals a lower price tag for the Kindle Fire.
  • 3G: Currently Amazon offers a Wi-Fi only model, while Apple is offering both Wi-Fi and 3G models.
  • Cameras: The Amazon Kindle Fire will be cameraless. Apple has two cameras on its iPad 2 model tablet.
  • Operating Systems: The Apple iPad uses its iOS system, which is a slick design and easy to operate compared to the Amazon Kindle Fire, which will feature a variant of the Android system that has a capable, feature-rich OS system. What makes the Android system attractive to me are the number of applications that are offered — many free for the choosing.

So, while there are many more hardware and function features in which the two tablets differ, it is my humble opinion that the tablets listed above will be the most notable the ones that will influence the average consumer’s choice when deciding which system they will purchase.

Comments, as always, are welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Melonie McLaurin

    I pre-ordered the Kindle Fire two nights ago out of sheer curiosity.  I was in one of those incredibly long lines the day the first iPad came out, over at South Park Mall in Charlotte, and it’s still my traveling companion every single day.  Since then, tablets have just fascinated me but there hasn’t been an Android(ish) tablet I’ve been tempted to buy until now.  Something about Kindle Fire seems hard to resist (and the really great price is not small part of it I’m sure.)  Nice article.

  • LarryB

    I just pre-ordered a Kindle Fire. It was the price that did it for me. I’d hate to lose an iPad, but I’d be less upset if I left a Kindle in an airplane seat pocket.

    I’m eager to see which Android apps will perform well on the KF, and how easily I’ll be able to manage storage between apps and movies, which is why I’ll be toting the thing onto airplanes in the first place.

  • LeeNukes

    I have a Hannspree Hannspad which I reflashed with a Gingerbread based ROM. its fantastic for the price. Cost me £150 which is about $241 and this I got before the Amazon Fire was announced.

  • mlass

    I decided a few weeks back that I would want a 7in Tablet versus a 10in.  I just felt that the 10in was a little to big for me (I want to be able to have it on me as much as possible).  I also decided a year and a half ago to go with Android due to the fact that I can do what I want and don’t need Apple to approve it.  So, for $200 I will purchase a Kindle Fire.  If Amazon offer a free app a day on it, it’s well worth the $200 dollars.

  • Reinaldo

    Although the Kindle Fire will run on Android it will a customized version of the OS. Additionally, there will be no access to the Android Market (although Amazon is just as good). Consumers should not expect a full tablet OS unless they have the means to means to root the device.

  • Reid Sprague

    I’ll admit the price is tempting – and a good move for Amazon. But my enthusiasm is severely tempered by my experience with my Barnes & Noble Nook Color I recently acquired. 

    I got the Color with the idea that it would be not only a good e-reader but give me some bonus tablet features, too. But tablet-wise, it’s *very* limited. It will surf the Web, check email, yes – but with nowhere the the speed and intuitive flexibility of an iPad. And that leaves aside apps! 

    Alongside an iPad, the Nook (which cost me half as much) looks like far less than half the value. It really kind of reminds me of the experience I get on my (company-supplied) BB – you can do those things, but you probably won’t enjoy them. Judged by the iPad standard, I wish I’d spent the additional $250 for what would seem like 4X (or 10X) the functionality with an iPad. And the iPad, while ostensibly a *closed* system, has a far richer independent software ecosystem than anything else, making it feel, at any rate, far less closed than Nook – or, I suspect, the Amazon Kindle Fire.

    Reviews I’ve read seem to indicate that the Amazon tablet has a much better browser than what I’ve experienced on the Nook – but it also has an OS that (while ostensibly Android) is focused with laser precision on shopping at Amazon. It seems designed to be a portable little window into the Amazon commercial ecosystem and little else. What I’ve read indicates that Amazon has gone to great lengths to *isolate* users from the Android ecosystem. This won’t be an open device you can use as you please.

    So color me skeptical – at least for now. Wish I’d gotten a conventional e-ink e-reader for now, and waited a bit on a true Android tablet.