We here at Business Insider have a theory about Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
The theory is that people buy the Kindle Fire for other people, but would never buy it for themselves. That’s why we call the Fire the “fruitcake” of tablets. You wouldn’t buy a fruitcake for yourself, but you’ll get for others at the holidays.
We saw this anecdotally in the first year of the Kindle Fire’s existence.
It was (and remains) a super cheap tablet, so it’s not too expensive to give one as a present. You can buy a Kindle Fire HD for just $US139. At that price you don’t have to spend a lot of money to seem like a thoughtful, generous person.
But, if you were in the market for a tablet for yourself, odds are you’d go with an iPad because it has better applications, and a more robust ecosystem.
The Fire is a good tablet, and it’s improving all the time, it’s just not as good at the iPad right now.
Today we have more proof that the Kindle Fire is the fruitcake of tablets — hot holiday item that might not be so hot the rest of the year.
Flurry, which measures mobile application analytics, says the Kindle Fire activations were up 24X on Christmas day versus a normal December day. (This is actually down compared to years past.)
What does this mean? It means that a lot of people are activating Fires they got as a Christmas present. It also suggests that the rest of the month, when people are shopping for themselves, they don’t buy Fires.
This isn’t exactly the end of the world, but it suggests Amazon needs to get the Kindle Fire to be good enough that everyone wants to buy it at any time of the year.
P.S. Amazon gets pummelled in the press for putting out press releases with vague numbers in them that don’t really tell a full story. What’s funny about this Flurry release is that an outside company is doing it for Amazon! This chart really doesn’t mean much. What if on an average day people activate 1 Kindle Fire? Then on Christmas day, 24 Fires were activated.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.