This is a follow up to my article on the initial review of the Kindle Fire by media reviewers, “Kindle Fire Reviews Not Good - Sell Amazon”. This article updates Kindle Fire's reception with details from the users themselves, gathered from Amazon.com's (AMZN) review system.
As users start getting their Kindles, a lot of further flaws are cropping up. The most serious one turns out to be that the Kindle is activated to allow for 1-Click shopping through the account connected to the device, and such behavior cannot be turned off. Additionally the device asks for no confirmation password before validating the purchase, which means that if anyone gets hold of the device, he can purchase things at will, potentially bankrupting the owner.
Other less serious flaws have been reported as well, namely:
- It runs hot;
- The stereo speakers are both on top of the device, which means that when watching movies they are both on the same side, turning them into mono sound;
- Slower and jerkier than expected web browsing – no benefit from Silk;
- Just 6.5Gb storage free at startup;
- Prime movies can’t be downloaded, only streamed, making them impossible to watch without wifi;
- Several defective units being reported;
- The carousel shows everything you ever bought and every site you visited, with no way to delete items, which means compromising items you bought or sites you visited can’t be removed. There goes your privacy;
- Touchscreen being reported as having a sluggish response, lack of physical back button and virtual back button being sluggish and not always at the same place;
- When the internet browser is pointed at the Android market, it reverts to the Amazon market;
- Power cord is too short to be able to use device at the same time as it charges;
- Power button is badly placed, leading to accidental turning off of the device;
- Wifi connection problems are being frequently reported;
- Does not support proxy servers, making it difficult to connect to the internet outside the home environment;
- Does not support ad-hoc connections so you can't use the 3G connection from your phone with tethering.
There is a really long list of complaints by the users over at Amazon.com. The reviews are turning up a lot less positive than usual, as can be seen in the table below (updated September 18th 16:20 NYT):
This paints a worrisome trend, as many of the lower ratings are from customers who will return their Kindles, having bought them sight unseen. That could lead to further unexpected margin pressure over at Amazon.com (AMZN).
On the other side, some of the flaws being reported might be correctable with software updates, and on Wednesday Barnes & Noble (BKS) truly blundered, as it is being reported that the Nook tablet limits internal storage of content not bought at Barnes & Noble to just 1Gb. They might have to backtrack on that. Still, up till now the Nook tablet seems to be receiving better reviews.
Disclosure: I am short AMZN.