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Your Olympic Tablet: the iPad or the Kindle Fire?
  16 March, 2012      By admin      Posted in { London Olympics }

The most awaited event of 2012, the London Olympics, is now in plain sight. In only a few months’ time, London will roll the carpets for the most devoured sporting pageant of the world to kick off.

While participating athletes rally up for the XXX Olympiad, the technology giants, Google and Apple, are busy spicing up the outside world. The duo, having jointly led the world into the tablet era, continue to generate more and more steam by pitting phones against phones, OS against OS, and now– tablets against tablets.

Apple has had a clear lead in the world of tablets, with the iPad widely heralded ‘the hottest gadget’ on the planet. But now with Android closing in, the tablet game is getting all spiced up. As a matter of fact, where the iPad 2 sold 15.4 million units during the final quarter of 2011 alone, Android tablet market share shot up from 29% in Q4 2010 to 39% in Q4 2011.

The increase in Android market share is largely due to the entry of the Kindle Fire– the 7-inch, low-cost Android 2.3 Gingerbread tablet from Amazon. Several third-party reports are indicating that the growing Android sales have taken away, potentially, revenue from sales of between one and 2 million units of the iPad, in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Furthermore, even amongst its Android coequals, mainly the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Kindle Fire –, is emerging as a close winner. In November 2011 when Kindle Fire was just launched, the Samsung Galaxy Tab dominated application session usage on Android. At that time, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was widely considered the only viable competition to the iPad, though it was still a distant second.

By January 2012 though, the picture had turned upside down. The Kindle Fire, combined with significant downloads driven from the Amazon App Store, resulted in a massive surge in session usage that edged out even the Galaxy Tab.  As per some reports, Kindle Fire made up 35.7% of sessions while Galaxy Tab represented 35.6%.  Remarkably, and from a standing start, the Kindle Fire overtook the Galaxy Tab in just a few short months.

Even as the iPad continues to rule the tablet world, there is no doubting that the Kindle Fire is cutting into the former’s market share. It therefore makes strong sense to check out Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad 2, as they go head-to-head.

iPad Vs Kindle Fire: Quick run-through

Size
The Kindle’s screen size is 7” compared to the 9.7” screen that the iPad 2 possesses, but with it comes the burden of weight. The iPad 2 weighs 21.28 Oz, which is 46% heavier than the 14.6 Oz Kindle.

Storage Capacity
Storage is a crunch issue for tablet users, and at first look, it appears that the iPad walks away with everything on the storage front. After all, Kindle’s 8 GB capacity is a no-match to the iPad’s 16 GB, or is it?

To match the iPad, Amazon played a real masterstroke by building ‘Cloud Storage’ into the Fire. The Kindle Fire, by virtue of Cloud Storage, allocates unlimited space for you on Amazon’s online servers, using which you get to store content, and stream movies and music without cluttering any small bit of your internal memory.

This turns the heat right back on the iPad, which still doesn’t offer iCloud to users, but possibly seeks to make up for this lack with its 16 GB and 32 GB variants.

Price
This is where the Kindle runs the iPad aground. At £ 125 for the Kindle, it far outshines the starting price of £315 for an iPad 2. Having said that, users have willingly given up some of the features of the iPad 2 in order to purchase one, or as many as 3 Kindles for the price of one iPad 2.

Camera
The iPad 2 features dual cameras. The rear one, a 0.7 megapixel snapper with 5x digital zoom can record videos up to 30 high-definition frames per second, audio included. The front camera is a mere VGA unit though. Quite surprisingly, the Fire tablet is devoid of any cameras at all.

The e-reader
In Britain, you only have to glance around a train carriage to see that e-readers are taking off in a huge way with people of all ages. The Kindle’s e-reader has gained huge popularity especially with Amazon having a large e-book repository, which reports claim, is selling more than conventional hard cover books. As a matter of fact, it was reported earlier this year that Amazon was selling 105 e-books for every 100 printed books.

The iPad 2 doesn’t offer any e-reader functionality.

Battery
The iPad has a battery life of 10 hours compared to the 8 hours from the smaller Kindle. This is too close to be a major issue for any user

At the end of the day, given its reasonable pricing and neat looks, the Kindle Fire provides understandably intense competition to the iPad 2.

Will it be your Olympic gadget, or are you gunning for the iPad 2?  Or are you one of those hedging your bets for the launch of the iPad 3?

Whatever you go with finally, we are sure the call shall turn out a really interesting one!

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