Apple would have never shipped a device like the Fire. It’s got way too many rough edges (sluggish touchscreen, magazine apps that don’t really fit the smaller screen, an easy-to-hit power button). And even little things like how the power cord jiggles when plugged in wouldn’t have made it past the demo room in Cupertino. But the Fire’s not made for Apple’s customers — or to win thumbs up from usability critics. It’s for the millions of people who: a) don’t have $500-plus to spend on an iPad and b) really want to be part of the touchscreen revolution that’s changing how we control devices.
Think about all the stuff a non-nitpicky, non-iPad veteran can do with the Fire: email, good-enough web browsing, Twitter, Facebook, watch movies and TV, read e-books, and play dozens of the most popular app games (Angry Birds, Words With Friends). For $200, is that enough to satisfy millions — maybe even Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos’ predicted ‘many millions’? I think for sure the answer’s ‘yes.’ Will Amazon fix the bugs, polish the chassis, and improve this thing, same as it did with the original Kindle? Of course.
Peter Meyers, author of the forthcoming Missing Manual for the Kindle Fire, quoted in the NYT