Amazon's Kindle Fire Is a Disruptive Innovation

Rob Wheeler, Harvard Business Review, Sept 29, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I've had an iPad for the last few months, and I've discovered I use it almost exclusively for watching Netflix. Now maybe I'm an unusual user, having a MacBook for the road, a nice Nikon D5100 camera, and my home and office desktops. But maybe I'm not. And that's the play Amazon is making with the Kindle: a nice, inexpensive device that can be used to read and watch media (not coincidentally, exactly what they sell). And if so, then the Kindle Fire is, indeed, disruptive, as claimed in this Harvard Business Review article. "It's not just a low-end competitor to the iPad. There is scalable technology at its core that the present-generation iPad lacks — the extensive use of the Cloud."

There's extensive coverage of the new line of Kindles online: Mashable offers an overview of the new Kindle products, Mark Glaser captures the A-lister Twitter chatter, BBC asks, who's afraid of Kindle Fire, as RiM cuts prices, Reuters reports on the price pressure created by the Kindle, Chris Espinosa calls it astonishing jujitsu on Google, Daniel Eran Dilger calls the Kindle a loss leader, Martin Langeveld says it's all about the shopping, Wired's Seven Levy says it does one job very well, ZDNet says colleges finally have a viable tablet, Learnpost says it changes the game for education while Audrey Watters says it's not the tablet schools have been waiting for, covering the new Kindles John Gruber at Daring Fireball notices that Amazon's audacious and fascinating Silk browser, an a new twist on an old idea, uses Webkit.
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