Amazon's Kindle Fire will fail, says one expert

Mon Dec 12, 2011 1:08pm EST

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Kindle Fire at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos holds up the new Kindle Fire at a news conference during the launch of Amazon's new tablets in New York, September 28, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Predictions for the Kindle Fire have ranged from it being the iPad killer to its less expensive equal, but one thing the New York Times' David Streitfeld writes almost everyone can agree on -- it has some kinks to work out.

Consumer complaints, such as the lack of external volume control and a slow touch screen, were recently validated by a post from "usability expert" Jakob Nielsen.

Nielsen wrote last week that the device would be a failure because of how poor the user experience is.

Part of the problem is its size. Nielsen remains unconvinced that 7-inch tablets will be as popular because they are too small. Magazine publishers and app developers need to design their products specifically for the smaller screen if devices like the Kindle Fire are going to catch on.

"The most striking observation from testing the Fire is that everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation," Nielsen wrote. "You haven't seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you've watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire."

Much has already been written about how Amazon loses money on the device itself -- it costs more to make than stores charge for it.

But Amazon's game all along has been to make money by treating the device as an extension of its storefront. If you buy a Kindle, you are going to buy your books, your movies and your music from the Amazon store.

That won't happen if people don't buy the device, but so far it seems that is not a problem. Though it declines to release numbers, Amazon says that the Kindle Fire is its most successful product launch ever.

Some analysts have predicted that robust sales will continue for the Kindle Fire next year, but Nielsen thinks that bad reviews from early adopters will slow the strong sales.

Amazon is set to unveil an update soon, so will it quiet the Kindle Fire's early critics?

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.