Why the Kindle Fire will burn out in Canada
It’s been awhile now since the Kindle Fire was announced, and while I think it’s going to be a great product, I don’t think it’s going to be the device that brings the iPad to its knees.
On paper the device looks strong. A lot of what is wrong with most Android tablets seems to not exist in the Kindle Fire such as UI issues and a lack of a vetted App Store.
The major issue however, that I think will come to hurt Amazon in this venture is international support and sales.
Amazon, much like Google, rarely seems to consider it’s neighbours to the north when it creates new services. I’ve posted before about how great it would be to get Google Voice running in Canada, but I don’t think we are ever going to get such a service.
If you look at Amazon.com and compare it with Amazon.ca, you will notice the extreme lack of content in the Canadian edition of the store. We don’t have their MP3 store, the digital software downloads, or even the Amazon Prime movie streaming services.
Without these services being available in Canada, the Kindle Fire isn’t nearly as compelling as it could be. Most of the keynote dedicated to the Kindle Fire went on to talk about how great the Kindle Fire will be because of its deep integration with these services.
It won’t only be in Canada that sales will be hindered as if you look at most of the world outside the US has the same restrictions to the Amazon experience.
This kind of US-centric business is really going prevent the Kindle Fire from becoming an incredibly strong competitor to Apple. Canada is a surprisingly large market and I don’t think if you asked Apple or companies like Netflix, that they would say doing business here was a mistake (as Netflix gained over 800000 subscribers in Canada in just 8 months).
Will Amazon expand its offerings outside of the US? I don’t think we will see this anytime in the near future. It’s possible but unlikely that Amazon will be able to work through all the content licensing deals necessary to get these services online by the time of the Kindle Fire launch.
So until then, I guess I’ll continue to live in my small, Apple dominated, igloo and try to stay warm.