Even though the Kindle Fire's riding a wave of positive reviews, the tablet's insecurities are showing as it gets ready for the big reveal next Tuesday. With the release date approaching, Amazon is making sure the world knows just how great its tablet is, addressing all of its shortcomings that could scare buyers away. The gadget is already "highly anticipated" — pre-orders apparently broke records, claimed CEO Jeff Bezos during the Q3 earnings call. But anticipation doesn't necessarily translate to sales. And as Amazon gets ready for the real deal, it's trying extra hard to let potential Kindle Fire owners know all the ways it will best the competition, especially in areas that have techies concerned. It might not be the fanciest tablet around, but looks aren't everything, at least that's the message Amazon's trying to get across.
Neither the Nook Tablet or the iPad can touch the $199 price point, but that's the only crystal clear selling point of the Kindle Fire. It doesn't have an edge on app offerings or look. And that's clearly Amazon's sore spot, especially since it's banking on making all the money on content, rather than the device itself. This week in separate announcements, Amazon touted all the great apps it will have. First, on Wednesday, reiterating that the tablet would offer "several thousand of the most popular Android apps and games," including Netflix and those popular Zynga games, Amazon explained in a press release. Then today, adding Hulu+ and ESPN ScoreCenter to the list. Unlike other tablets, the Kindle Fire does not have access to the very extensive Android app store or, obviously, Apple's app store. Amazon's emphasizing that will not be an issue, flashing all its shiny offerings in our faces. What it's not saying, of course, it that it still won't have everything an iPad can offer, like as Gizmodo's Brian Barrett points out, any app that relies on GPS technology.
And, as for that fancy tablet thing, apparently people like cheap. While Bezos didn't give any exact numbers when he revealed that the tablet sales broke pre-sale records, the company hinted at its pre-order popularity, revealing that it increased it has Kindle Fire orders to 5 million by the end of 2011. To put that in perspective, Apple sold 9.25 iPads last quarter. Amazon thinks its debut product can come pretty close.