iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire HD

I noticed that Amazon.com is taking advantage of a direct product comparison with the iPad Mini. Smart move on their part and good advertising tactic. Go for that swing group!

Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Much More for Much Less

Apparently it’s not iPad Mini vs. Android tablet, but iPad Mini vs. Kindle Fire HD.

Amazon highlights the key characteristics that standout against the iPad Mini: price and pixel density. It even went as far as to be redundant just to drive the point home. Notice the first two points are basically a restatement of pixel density (verbal vs. numerical) and are very similar in argumentative premise. The Kindle Fire also boasts wifi that is 41% faster than the new iPad (purportedly). The quote by Gizmodo adds a nice touch of ethos, though I’m not sure how much validity it really adds.

I stumbled upon an article comparing the new iPad Mini to the Kindle Fire HD. It had some good points. But some of the arguments were bolazo (that’s Uruguayan for nonsensical).

I like Apple products a lot. In general, I think they are well designed. I’ve had a better experience with my MacBook than any other previously owned laptop. Granted your newest product is going to be a better experience than the last (hopefully); however, there are things I just love about my MacBook that I didn’t get with my PCs. I’ve mentioned a lot of them before (trackpad, gestures, Preview, among other things). Of course this is just my preference. Some people hate gestures. I could throw money at them and they would want nothing to do with it, let alone a MacBook.

Back to my point. There are some arguments in the article that are flat out terrible. For example, the author suggests that “[Apple] has gotten away with selling what are essentially commodity products at an extremely high premiums by establishing a strong brand that has embedded in the general population the image of superiority.” The kind of technology Apple sells is not a commodity. This guy is writing like a first-world-ian. The only way in which Apple products are like commodities is that when the price goes up, fanboys and fangirls still buy them. Other than that iPods, iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, etc. are not commodities. Tablets and smart phones in general are not commodities. Ridiculous. On the flip side, Apple has managed to “get away with”, or better said, successfully been able to sell their products at high prices because of the loyal consumer base they have grown as a result of branding, marketing, design and a host of other strategies.

Later the author makes this statement: “In short, while the Apple software ecosystem is closed and very rich today, Android will reach parity and even surpass the richness of the iOS world going forward, eliminating the software ecosystem advantage that Apple can use to justify its higher prices for inferior hardware.” Wow! Google, you should really pay this guy more. …

This is taking me back to my previous rant on journalism a little bit. At this point the author’s persuasive pitch left me unconvinced and I stopped reading. And it’s not because he claims “Android will reach parity and even surpass” iOS. That may very well happen. May the best product “win.” But inferior hardware? Talk about a sweeping generalization of Apple products.

The iPad Mini may not meet the mark of the Kindle Fire HD in pixel density and screen resolution, and I personally think it would have been better to include the Retina display, but to label the rest of the Apple suite as inferior is absurd. Apple is paving the way for higher screen resolution, something that I know has pushed a number of people into the Apple product sphere. Are their products perfect? Obviously not. I think many of us, myself included, have questioned and wondered about some of their strategic decisions. Perhaps I’m focusing on the minor details of his article too much, but he really could have done better in crafting his argument.

I guess my main point is some times I’m a bit struck at the persuasive arguments people conjure up, and yet they fail or choose not to look at the bigger picture. That’s the ugly side of the Internet. We have this glorious tool where people can express themselves. Yet some people, often people who hit the front page of the Internet (Google Search, page 1, in all it’s query-able varieties) just can’t write a well-rounded argument. I suppose they don’t have to and they won’t, especially if they have an agenda (i.e. drive traffic to their site, etc.). What also bugs me is the thought of people accepting their words at face value.

This goes beyond this one insignificant post. It stretches out to articles and media productions on politics, religion, finance, and just about everything else. I hope that people research and investigate for themselves, that they read other articles from different sources, that they work the numbers and check the stats. I think part of the reason I’ve been thinking about this is because I know I’ve fallen into these traps before and I’m sure I write articles that miss important points. Furthermore, a lot of people never care to check the facts and they begin to form solid opinions on topics they know little of other than the fodder that one Internet farmer has fed them.

It’s the same with news on the TV. I can’t stand watching news on TV because of all the political bias and other garbage. And yet I know people who watch the same news station night after night (mostly people from an older generation). Diversification isn’t only an investment principle. I believe it’s enables us to seeing the bigger picture and to develop a more sound understanding of the world around us.

End rant. All in all, I both liked and disliked the way Amazon called out Apple on their front page. It was bold and daring. In a sense, it showed consumers “the truth” about the iPad Mini versus the Kindle Fire HD, albiet biased advertising.

At the same time, I thought the front page comparison was petty. It sorta reminded me of laundry detergent ads, even though in this case it’s more factual. It also reminded me of the Samsung ads. “The next big thing is already here.” This kind of advertising is amusing and can be effective (especially when focusing on the swing group), but there is a higher plane of advertising.

When you have to stoop down to try and show consumers you are better than the competitor by comparing yourself to the competitor’s product, you know you aren’t reaching for that higher plane. Your product should sell itself by showing consumers how it delivers what is most valued and how it fits who they are.