Can the Nexus 7 take down the Kindle Fire?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Can the Nexus 7 take down the Kindle Fire?
Amazon achieved what other Android tablet manufacturers couldn't – to sell its devices. And it didn't take a big screen or a quad-core processor to do it. The company simply took a basic Android build, integrated it with its media store, added its own app marketplace, and stuffed all that into a somewhat generic 7” tablet. It became a hit, but not because of the hardware itself, but because of the ultra-affordable price tag of only $199 and Amazon's brand recognition. In order to achieve that pricing, Amazon has actually been losing a few bucks for every Kindle Fire sold. However, this was easily made up by selling various content and other stuff through the device. In a remarkable move, CEO Jeff Bezos carved a sweet little niche for Amazon's Kindle Fire, making it one of the extremely few Android tablets that actually sold.

Of course, as time passed by, other manufacturers were able to produce tablets with progressively lower price tags, but none could really achieve what Amazon could, partly because those companies like Samsung and Motorola didn't have any additional content to sell through their devices, in order to make up for selling the tablet so cheaply.

As unbreakable as Amazon's model seemed, Google's announcement of the Nexus 7 tablet raised the question if this isn't the end of Amazon's fairy tale with the Kindle Fire. After all, the Nexus 7 is a much better device in terms of hardware (and software), and comes at the same alluring price of $199. It seems like Google has copied Amazon's model here by selling the device itself without any real profit in order to achieve such a price. Unsurprisingly, however, while presenting the Nexus 7, Google also put a lot of emphasis on the media-consumption capabilities of the device, especially stuff like books and magazines. All of this makes it obvious that with the Nexus 7, Google is aiming for that said niche, carved by the Kindle Fire. Now, the only question left unanswered is whether or not it'll be able to put out the Fire.

As easy as the answer to this may seem, having in mind the Nexus 7's superiority, we wouldn't be so quick to consider the matter closed. First of all, the Kindle Fire will always be favored at Amazon's, and Google isn't really a great hardware seller. Perhaps more importantly, though, the Kindle Fire has been out since last November, and the rumors of a sequel aren't stopping. Google has done well in providing a worthy competitor to the Kindle Fire, but the Fire has been a success for Amazon, and the company is rumored to be gearing up for the launch of a successor.

From this perspective it's still too early to consider the Kindle Fire dead. It is now Amazon's turn to answer with a product of its own, and judging by recent rumors, the new device will not be as modest (from hardware stand point) as the first one. Actually, some sources are claiming that Amazon may be launching not one, but two new Kindle Fires – one with a 7” screen, and another with a 10” screen, in an attempt to provide more choice for the consumers. Sadly, there isn't too much info regarding the new Fires (read: we know nothing), but one unofficial source does claim that build quality will be significantly better. Add a number of specification upgrades, which will surely be present, and the Nexus 7 may suddenly lose some of the appeal it has currently. Of course, all of this may happen in case Amazon keeps or lowers its price even more. How about $199 for the new 7” Fire, and $249 for a 10” one? With tablets, users usually gravitate towards the bigger screen, so if Amazon really ends up introducing an affordable 10” device, that may make some potential Nexus 7 buyers reconsider their intentions. But you might have noticed the amount of “ifs” that we used here, so everything should be filed as pure speculation for now, until we get to see the new devices.

So, what's the bottom line of all this? We really doubt it that Amazon will just quit the game it started. The Kindle Fire may look like a bad deal now that the spectacular Nexus 7 is about to come out, but it'll soon be time to welcome its successor/s, and then, who knows, maybe Amazon has found other ways to bring the price even further down (there were rumors of an ad-supported Kindle Fire). In the end, it'll be the consumers who win, but it's all thanks to these unbelievably innovative companies.

Related phones

Nexus 7
  • Display 7.0" 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Camera / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 4325 mAh
Kindle Fire
  • Display 7.0" 1024 x 600 pixels
  • Processor TI OMAP4, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB



1. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012


4. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

By the way, USB host is available on the Nexus :-)

5. Santi_Santi unregistered

Remember, cloud storage. we have discussed this issue all the week!

10. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Remember, WiFi only.

18. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

Just make sure to have a phone with mobile hotspot capability

6. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

a USB/micro SD card adapter will definitely be made available. The one for the galaxy tab 10.1 is quite small and handy,and cheap also

2. bohdan4ik13 unregistered

Google Play closed in many regions and people cannot buy Google's tablet (even if they want Nexus 7). Amazon works worldwide. And new 7 inch Kindle is coming. So... Nexus 7 is better than Kindle, but this tablet will never be Kindle Fire killer

20. Mario1017

Posts: 336; Member since: Sep 04, 2011

you know....the play store isnt the only place to nuy the nexus 7...

21. dmckay12

Posts: 243; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

And the play store isn't the only place to get apps, music, movies, and books.

22. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Though it's the only place to get Google-approved apps. I had a ViewSonic gTablet for a few months, and while it was a great tablet, it didn't have access to the (then) Android Marketplace (now Play Store), which was so frustrating I reluctantly got rid if it. Granted, it was also stuck on FroYo, but not having access to the official Google experience, even though I live in the U.S., was the killer. Will I get the Nexus7? Maybe, but it would be the 16GB model to have sufficient storage as a media player and app launcher, though I'd rather have a 5" Android media player like the Galaxy Player or Walkman, so that it would be pocketable. I found that having anything that wasn't pocketable made it less appealing to bring with me outside the house because I'd have to either carry it or put it in a laptop bag, which was ridiculous for such a relatively small object. Any appropriately sized bag would have looked like a purse, and if I'm going to put the effort in carrying a device around with me, it may as well be a full-fledged laptop, which has multiple times more storage, full apps with no ads, a physical keyboard, and plenty of ports to hook up peripherals as needed. If computer OEMs started making touchscreen netbooks (or, essentially, the Surface Pro) and priced them the same as current netbooks ($150-500) tablets would lose almost all appeal, especially if the purchaser used the ability of Windows to launch an instance of Android (though only reason to do that is if a particular Android app was so needed that wasn't as accessible or whatever reason it wasn't attainable via Windows, though with the relative scarcity of tablet -specific Android apps, I can't imagine that being necessary. I installed about portion on my desktop for Android and I used it twice, months ago, and never since). I won't even dignify the iPad with an inclusion as it's just a giant iPod touch with an unnecessary camera on the back. Only reason to use a tablet for camera work is if the photographer has vision problems so a small screen isn't worthwhile (even people with not-great vision want to take photos and should have the ability to) and even then they have a tripod to keep the silly thing stable.

23. dmckay12

Posts: 243; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Google doesn't approve the apps. As long as the seller pays $25 and violates no terms (found out after problem reported which comes after it is already in the store), the app is allowed and Google doesn't really care.

24. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Not quite. Google also proactively checks for malware, which not all app stores do. When I had the gTablet I used GetJar, Amazon, and a few other app stores for what I wanted, or I'd download the API and manually install it, if I could, but even those apps weren't consistently updated, and every download I performed I felt nervous that I could be downloading something possibly malicious, so I had to make sure none of my personal info was ever saved to the tablet, making daily activities like email or Facebook time consuming and frustrating. Just my personal experience, YMMV.

26. dmckay12

Posts: 243; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

They do check for malware, but Google does not approve them. Apple approves IOS apps, Google does not approve Android apps. You will have better luck from the play store but it is not the only place to get good apps.

3. Santi_Santi unregistered

I think Nexus 7, by hardware specs, will take the lead in no time. also the closed fire ecosystem (android, but only with amazon apps) will be a disadvantage considering that the Nexus 7 will be pure-free android experience. Even with a larger screen there is a possibility that the Fire 10" will be the same ol' fire with lower hardware specs and, to keep price, even without a rear camera, or quad core like the Nexus.

7. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

It's kinda unfair comparing a 2011 tablet with the new Nexus tablet with all it's awesome hardware, we should wait to see Amazon's response to Google's offering.

8. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

I think it has absolutely no chance. You keep forgetting, in this crowd, I fully agree that the Nexus would and should outsell the Kindle Fire. In reality, people go for what they know. The Amazon Kindle Fire will own the budget tablet market for a while, solely due to how well it has been recognized. And if Apple makes their budget tablet, that one will soar to the top. It may not be what you want to hear, but in all likelihood know you know it's the terrible truth.

9. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

duhhh.... yes more apps in app store! quadcore v dual core higher res screen stock jb(no amazon crap) almost imediate updates able to sideload able to hack and mod(best part)

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

In fairness, you can hack and mod any Android-based tablets. Heck, my brother and I rooted the kids tablet I got my nephews for Christmas and got it to run Honeycomb. It's not a smooth setup because of hardware limitations, but it runs more than it was sold as.

11. Xquisite

Posts: 87; Member since: Apr 23, 2012

To me, this is like asking if the Galaxy S3 can take down the iPhone.

12. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 2011

The Nexus looks to be very nice! Google isn't yet close when it comes to offering media, but they do tend to catch up quickly. Amazon has done one thing with apps that I wish would catch on with other appstores, they've weeded out the garbage. I'll take their 'limited' selection over having to wade through tons of crap produced by competing for raw number bragging rights anytime.

13. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

The kindle is garbage now ...these kai tablets will give every other tablet a run for its cash ( y u no get my indie magazine- i put up a comparisson table

14. angelxdope

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Guys keep in mind that the Kindle fire came out in the holiday season and boy did it sell it was one of the most popular so for Google to take over that market it will take a while. But in my personal opinion i like the Nexus 7 a lot more because it pure android. What i mean by that is that the Kindle just didn't have that customization or freedom that we all love about Android. But seeing devices this cheap brings joy to all of us. :-)

15. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

The kindle Fire is for mainstream America, the nexus 7 are for geeks like me lol. Most people look at the Kindle Fire and want a simple tablet that they use to read books, play games, etc. We tech guys use the Nexus7 for almost everything but drive a car themselves lol This can one of the first Android tablets that can beat the iPad............eventually!

16. Jay_F

Posts: 236; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

This tablet wasn't made to go up against the iPad.

17. jvrsavage

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Amazon will just sell the fire for $179.99 to stay on top or in this case at the bottom of the price range. This will keep them competitive and keep the sales coming until the succesor comes out. Thats what I would do if I was amazon

19. LiudvikasLTU

Posts: 15; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

I didn't read the article. I've already knew the answer. NEXUS 7 FOR THE WIN! :D

27. stevenshearing

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

Oh yes just look u the benchmarks and you see that googles new tablet comes near top next to the prime which is great value for money. This will be my first tablet, finally one which comes with a fair price tag, now other companys will stuggle to sell at high prices. This is what we needed a company to drop the prices and beat the bunch. Sure the ipad still comes out head and tails but do you really need that extra speed at the cost of such a item.

28. andyboi_ph

Posts: 101; Member since: Mar 26, 2012

im sure amazon knows that if they don't make an awesome hardware/software specs on the next iteration of kindle fire, google's nexus 7 tablet will take the lead (in terms of sales). Lets see what's instore for the new kindle fire soon.

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