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Survey: Kindle Fire owners happy with device, though iPad users happier

amazon-kindle-fire-handAmazon’s Kindle Fire tablet has been out a few months now and while reports suggest it’s selling well, Amazon has declined to give detailed information regarding precise numbers, going only so far as to say it sold a million units in December. An analyst at Barclays went further recently, claiming that the online retail giant had shifted around 5.5 million units over the holiday season, and estimating that it could sell as many as 18.4 million this year.

Amazon will be happy with such numbers, there’s little question about that. But are consumers happy with Amazon’s new tablet? Research firm Changewave decided to poll some of those who already own the device to see what they’ve made of it so far. While the sample size of 254 people is admittedly small, the results nevertheless give some insight into how the Kindle Fire is going down with buyers.

 More than half (54 percent) told Changewave researchers they were very satisfied with the tablet, with 38 percent claiming to be somewhat satisfied.

Changewave noted the difference between Kindle Fire owners and those with other tablets, saying, “While the 54 percent very satisfied rating for the Kindle Fire is considerably below the 74 percent rating of the industry leading Apple iPad, it is higher than the 49 percent average rating for all of the other tablet devices combined.”

As for what users like most about their Kindle Fire, it may come as little surprise that its cost came top of the list, with 59 percent citing the $199 price tag as a big plus. Apple’s cheapest iPad, in comparison, costs $499.

Also scoring well in the likes category was its color screen, ease of use and the fact that there are a huge number of books available directly through Amazon’s online store.

On the other hand, 27 percent of users said they dislike the fact there’s no volume up/down button on the device. Next in the dislikes category is the lack of a built-in camera. Short battery life and the lack of 3G capability were also cited as areas of disappointment.

The best way for Kindle Fire owners to decide if they are satisfied with the device is to ignore what’s missing and focus instead on whether it gives them value for money. Of course, at $199 it has fewer features than the iPad, but Apple’s device costs $300 more. Sure, the Fire has no camera and no 3G capability, but for $199 can you really expect such features? Most users would have known this before purchasing the tablet, so as long as the user experience meets their expectations, they’ll most likely be happy with what they have.

The fact is, when you add together the survey’s figures for very satisfied and somewhat satisfied, you get a total of 92 percent satisfied to some degree with their Kindle Fire—pretty impressive for a first-generation device.

But what of the 8 percent? Perhaps these are disgruntled recipients of holiday season gifts who were expecting an iPad. Or people who’ve had a go on an iPad since buying a Kindle Fire and now wish they’d gone for the Apple device instead.

Either way, Amazon’s tablet appears to be doing well and if the analysts are proved right, will sell in big numbers in 2012. Amazon will no doubt be very satisfied.

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