The tablet that changed the whole market for tablets, and isn't a tablet

Kindle Fire is so capable, so packed with features and so cheap that no tablet but iPad can compete

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With the exception of size, which Amazon will solve with a 10-inch version of Fire, the Kindle Fire compares favorably with almost all the features of the leading tablets.

It will continue to do so, I think, leading the non-iPad tablet market by underpricing everything else available, while not really competing with the iPad because it's not as powerful and (more importantly) isn't a Mac.

Odd as it seems, the market looks as if it will remain divided, for the near future, into three segments: basic e-readers, tablets with a range of features, specifications and prices, and iPads.

Nooks will continue to lead the first category.

Kindle Fire will lead the second. iPads, for the forseeable future, will lead the third, probably until laptops evolve into tablet formats, or smartphones evolve into something that makes tablets unnecessary.

Predicting winners and results of competition in any tech category is a losing prospect. Even when you're right, development moves quickly enough that you can't stay right for very long.

In this case, though, until some major new change in the size, portability and cost of everything on the market except Kindle Fire, the only two questions prospective tablet users have to answer are:

  • iPad or not-an-iPad
  • and

  • Kindle Fire or something more expensive?

Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo Credit: 

Reuters

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