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“In less than two weeks, we’re rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire,” Drew Herdener, a company spokesman, told The New York Times. Kindle Fire is critical for its future selling apps on the virtual store, enough though the company loses money on the sale of each unit to compete on the market.

The $79 Kindle costs Amazon $84 to make, but see’s its shortcoming losses a benefit when considering the virtual store being the real money maker. It’s not uncommon practice for companies; cellphone retailers do the exact same when purchasing cell phones for x-amount of dollars and offering it to its customers cheaper when signing contracts.

While its success is overall good, the reviews are sometimes mixed reception as to whether or not to purchase the tablet or not.

Many of the initial customers of the Fire seem to have bought it on a mixture of faith and hype. The striking thing even about some of the one-star reviewers is that they are regretful rather than angry. One review, couched as an open letter to Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, began: “I have spent thousands on your outstanding site. I own and love the original kindle. When asked about why I would buy a Fire when I had an ipad, I said that half of me wanted to just support your effort and that I believed amazon just did things right.” The reviewer is now recommending that friends skip lunch to buy an iPad.

Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, has been tracking the opinions as more reviews are posted on Amazon. Since Nov. 18, five-star reviews have fallen slightly, to 47 percent from 50 percent, he says. One-star reviews have held relatively steady at about 13 percent.

“I would have expected things to be even worse at this point,” Mr. Munster said, adding that initial buyers were usually the most critical. Pricing will save the Fire, he predicted. At $199 versus $500 for an iPad, “Amazon has a lot of air cover to have a B-level product.”

Mr. Nielsen, the consultant, disagreed.

The 7-inch Fire does a good job displaying sites optimized for smaller mobile devices, he said, but stumbles when it tries to show pages designed for 10-inch tablets. “Like squeezing a size-10 person into a size-7 suit,” Mr. Nielsen wrote in his report. “Not going to look good.” As for displaying desktop sites, forget it.


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