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Amazon.com criticising new iPad on homepage (amazon.com)
205 points by dutchbrit on Oct 29, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 202 comments

The iPad Mini's far from impressive DPI is no doubt the result of Apple not wanting to introduce another resolution into the iOS ecosystem (the Mini's resolution previously appeared on iPad 1 and 2). I don't think they were cutting costs with this panel, rather, you are seeing the non-resolution-independent iOS chickens coming home to roost as software limitations begin to hold back hardware innovation.

Apple needs to bite the bullet and implement true resolution independence in iOS and OS X otherwise every new device form factor (or Retina display, in OS X's case) is going to make things more and more painful.

There are two other major reasons they'll have gone for the lower resolution:

1) Power consumption - the retina display drains a lot of power (and handling the higher resolution requires a better processor which contributes further). This means a bigger battery, which means a larger and heavier device which kind of goes against the point of the iPad mini.

2) Price - It seems that one of Apple's key business goals with the iPad mini is to bring the lowest entry point of the iPad down. Retina displays a going add cost which means Apple would have to go in at a higher price point - kind of undermining the whole thing.

Apple have optimised for size and price and while I'm sure they'd have loved to have a retina display on the iPad mini, the trade offs they've made are consistent with the aims they have.

It also has the same DPI as the iPhone 3gs, so they can use the same screens, just cut to a bigger shape.

Does display manufacturing really work that way? Can you take an existing screen spec and scale it up?

Yes, these types of displays are generally fabricated in large sheets, out of which screens if the size needed are cut.

If I had to guess, I would say that the resolution dependence has been a major contributing factor to the high UI/UX quality in iOS applications. Yes, there are other aspects to consider, but this single design decision has a lot of benefits to developers.

It's definitely a major contributor to the simple fact that iOS apps, on average, look a whole lot better than Android apps. That being said, it's a burden on Apple hardware designers that will only increase with time.

It's a tough decision if there is an elegant solution out there, I can only hope that Apple is already working on it.

Windows 8 modern-style UI applications are (largely) resolution independent, and they look pretty good.

This is a good point. I wonder if they could go half way on resolution independence, a hybrid solution of some sort. They don't really need true resolution independence since they control all the hardware. But if they had something that worked within certain parameters it would ease up the burden on the hardware designers and iOS developers without hurting the UX...

True, but, as the DPI increases, manually making the UI pixel-perfect becomes less important.

I knew this was going to be an issue when they decided on a fixed resolution as well as a fixed DPI - they are very limited in what size devices they can now produce.

It has been of great short term benefit to them though, as it has been much easier for people to develop great looking apps for it.

I'm really curious to see if they do eventually go for resolution independence and lose the advantages that comes with it, in order to gain the flexibility of making a broader (or even just different) set of devices.

I wonder if even they have decided with certainty which way they are going to go.

If that's the direction you go, how do they handle resolution independence of raster images? Sure, you can implement scaling, but you'll still need developers to provide a massive range of assets to satisfy every potential resolution, or suffer the consequences of blurry and/or jagged images as a result of their scaling artifacts.

Apple doesn't need resolution independence. They just need to get everything on retina displays, then it won't even matter anymore.

The problem for Apple is that they defined Retina as "you can't see the pixels" and there is no need to go higher PPI than that. But the pixel doubled iPad mini would have a resolution higher than that. So they would need to spend battery life and processing power on something they have themselves stated is worthless.

It's an odd situation.


You are correct that 326 dpi would also have been an option, but while we've seen lots of, say, 1280x800 panels in the wild at the Mini's price point or lower, I have no idea what the pricing of a 2048x1536 panel would look like. As you note it would probably be substantially more expensive.

This just highlights why dpi independence is important - if your only option to raise dpi is to double it, that's not particularly helpful unless you only plan on improving the dpi every other year when costs have fallen sufficiently.

From my reading I think that price of the screen for a 2048x1536 screen, while higher, isn't the real showstopper.

The truly big issue for a very high-resolution screen is power draw requiring a larger battery leading to a larger, heavier device.

As Amazon doesn't highlight—for obvious reasons—the iPad mini is thinner and lighter with a larger screen. This is where Apple's engineering dollars were spent.

Sourcing enough parts could also have been an issue. Perhaps they couldn't get enough high resolution 7" screens fast enough. Having the mini being on back order throughout December would easily cost them many more sales than they lose from people who decide to skip the mini due its screen resolution.

I think it highlights why resolution dependence doesn't matter - just wait a year for the price to come down. What could be easier?

There's so much about this which is disingenuous. I'm not surprised by this, but it's worth pointing out some of the tricks Amazon are employing here:

1. Much More for Much Less. Much More is obviously the kindle fire HD, and Much Less is the iPad Mini. Heck, if you remove the 'f' of 'for' you get to the central point here which is to turn the choice into 'Much More or Much Less'.

2. Kindle Fire HD branding is used (sexy typeface, orange gradient), iPad mini has some weird typeface which a cynic might argue has been deliberately spaced to make it look antiquated and unprofessional.

3. The Kindle Fire is "stunning" and the iPad Mini is "standard".

4. Just because the iPad Mini display is high definition and has 30% more pixels than the iPad Mini, it doesn't mean that the iPad Mini is a "low resolution" display.

5. Because the iPad Mini has a bigger screen in the same overall form factor, they make the same point a different way ("30% more pixels than the Mini" => "216 pixels per inch"). If the Kindle had a bigger screen but lower PPI they'd put the screen size in here.

6. "Watch HD movies and TV" "No HD movies or TV". The phrasing here is very clever. To a technically competent individual it parses as "no HD content on iPad Mini, only standard definition". But the "and TV"/"or TV" phrasing means that an average consumer might assume that you can't get any TV shows on iPad Mini.

7. The screen of the Kindle Fire is odd looking. The iPad Mini behind it is on its default home screen. I'm guessing that the Kindle Fire has deliberately been shown all in black (with the bg the same colour as the bezel) because it makes it unclear where the bezel ends and the screen begins. (I don't know if this is the default setting of the Kindle Fire HD or not).

8. The iPad Mini has been photoshopped horribly. For a start I have no idea which iOS that is, but it's not the one which ships with the iPad Mini or the one which Apple are using in any of their promotional shots. If you overlay one of Apple's promotional shots on top and adjust the size and opacity, you'll see that the iPad Mini has been warped so that the icons seem slightly smaller and the positioning is off.

8. Ultra-fast MIMO Wi-Fi vs. A BLANK SPACE. Not even trashing the fact that there is Wifi in the iPad but it's not as fast. It looks like they just gave up at this point.

Again, I'm not blaming Amazon for any of this. It's just interesting to see how much thought has gone into basically attempting to deceive consumers.

I hope you are aware that apple does this too (and far better). I say this because I wouldn't see this type of post after an apple keynote. They are MASTERS of setting the conversation points.

Take the iPhone4 launch. A new phone with a slightly higher resolution screen, but significantly smaller than the existing competition. Their framing, with retina branding, switched the existing conversation from screen size, not to resolution even (where apple had a minor lead, that would be soon overtaken) to PPI! There was almost no discussion of PPI before this. Apple competitors were now framed as 'worse' if they included a screen with the same resolution but bigger! Insane!

Now fast-forward to 2012, and we have a new iPad marketed as 35% bigger screen (again they have found a metric that maximises the difference, which would normally be framed as the 7" vs 7.9"), no mention of resolution.

Apple would never even show a competitor on their site, because they are the market leader.. but see Mac vs PC for what happens when they are not.

"Apple would never even show a competitor on their site, because they are the market leader.." - One thing that struck me from the iPad Mini announcement was just how much time they spent comparing it to the competition - a sure sign that they really do think there is competition now. Then they disappoint on the iPad numbers in their latest earnings - chalk that up to people waiting for iPad Mini's but that seems like only half the story - and I think we've got a real interesting battle on our hands.

I wonder if Google was brilliant or lucky pricing the Nexus 7 at $199. They created this dilemma for Apple. They can't have the Mini cannabalize the more profitable iPad (the % of which must increase measurably by every $20 price differential) so they can't get close to $199. Amazon and Google smell blood in the water. iOS and the ecosystem is clearly superior to its Android brethren right now. However, a 65% premium for a device many acknowledge is a web surfer/facebook/email checker feels too rich. These guys will get a solid toehold in the market and in 2 - 3 years from now there will be an S III equivalent to the larger iPad's.

"Amazon and Google smell blood in the water."

Apple made itself vulnerable to this sort of attack by basing building so much of their recent advertising campaigns upon display specifications - i.e. retina.

By focusing on something which is easily (and perhaps misleadinly) reduced to numbers, pixels, they have opened the way to the sort of simple value proposition Amazon's page suggests.

The "brilliant" part was convincing people it was $199, whereas in fact it's pretty close to $250 after shipping. I ended up buying a 16GB model ($275 including shipping) because the price difference was so small.

You can visit a local retail store to buy it for $199 with no shipping costs.

Though now with the 32GB at the old 16GB price it's an even better deal, advertised at $249 or $275 in the end, either way it's a great price.

Edit: Wait, you say the 8GB $199 is close to $250 after shipping, but the 16GB is $275 including shipping? Which is it? Either shipping is close to $50 or $25 exactly. Seems like you are trying to stretch the facts to justify your purchase.

I hope he explains, I am having a hard time just now trying to find how someone would be able to spend $50 on shipping unless they were wanting to overnight it.

I did notice that as of today 10/29 Nexus 7 prices/configurations have been updated, so it is now 16GB for $199 or the new 32GB for $249. The 8GB model is discontinued.

When I bought it (at launch) the 8GB model was just under $250 including shipping, and the 16GB model was $275. (I checked my receipt.) The prices have changed somewhat since then.

In any event, the $199 price struck me as highly misleading at the time.

I have the 8 GB Nexus 7 and I bought it at launch. I just checked and the total price I paid (device + shipping + tax) came to $230.03. I don't remember which delivery method I chose, perhaps you chose an expedited shipping option?

$230 is closer to $250 than $200. Memory plays tricks so probably that was the figure I baulked at.

And note that I paid $26.44 shipping + tax on a $249 base price, so somehow my shipping was significantly cheaper than yours.

Where does the extra $50 go for shipping?

I don't recall the details. It's not just shipping -- unlike Amazon, Google actually charges sales tax (not a criticism of Google btw -- I think Amazon's sales tax advantage is horribly unfair to other retailers). For the model I eventually did buy (16GB, which was at that time the top-of-the-line) I paid about $25 in shipping and tax.

What I can verify is that I paid $275.44 for a "$249" 16GB Nexus 7 whereas a Kindle Fire HD would actually be $199.

Google (nor does Amazon) "charge" sales tax. They collect sales tax on behalf of the state.

Like other businesses, Amazon collects sales tax in states where it has a physical presence (which is a probably a different list of states than for Google). For example, New York State residents pay sales tax on Amazon.

Thanks for clarifying that.

It's amazing that a complete computer with screen and a multitouch interface sells for $275 or $199. $200 is how much a couple people can easily spend in one day at Disneyworld, or the price of a night at a decent hotel and a couple restaurant meals.

I've been a Mac user going back to a Lombard Macbook and I remember when Apple used to really go on the attack against PC's before they switched to Intel. Examples are: Toasting the Pentium II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE6aKeK61A4 and Pentium II Snail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ExNQ3iFhXc

During the Keynotes when Steve Jobs would show off the computers they'd run their Photoshop or really large Excel file tests to show just powerful their chips were. If I remember right, all of those tests were highly selective. For most regular computing tasks, I felt like PC's were faster.

In marketing, if you're in second place it doesn't hurt many times to attack first place. In the consumers minds, you're putting yourself on similar footing to the first place contender and then getting to highlight specific differences that make whatever case you want.

It many not be elegant but Amazon's promotions and Samsung's recent phone ads do illustrate differences between the products. They may not be the most important differences to a lot of people but the burden is on Apple to show that, not on competitors to follow a vague sense of fairness.

You are absolutely correct. Apple has time and time again poked fun at, snubbed nose at, or just plain put down competitors devices that they considered "sucky". When it comes to advertising, there is no notion of fair. I say this as someone who only has Apple electronics in the house. And frankly, who didn't think the Mac & PC commercials weren't a little funny?

I don't particularly take offense at the Amazon ad. When it comes down to it, people will only care about the Kindle for the price. It's already shown to be slow and Amazon has some weird data collection/spying things that have popped up with Silk (although most people will not care about this). Apple will never beat anyone on price and they don't care about this.

If you care about how things are made, the quality of the OS, etc (the usual thing's Apple sells products on), then the extra $100+ for the market leader won't be an issue. Again, Apple knows this and they consistently state that they're not interested in the bottom of the barrel. And anyways, Apple can't win in the low price points, Android has that market wrapped up.

So, I think it's good that Amazon has this. They've taken a page outta Apple's play book. And if anything, all this pressure might force Apple to drop to $299. They've reduced prices before, but somehow, at this point in time with their dominance, I doubt they will. They have enough cash in the bank to allow the Mini to flop if it has to...

There has always been selective fudging and use of benchmarks but these days Apple is not afraid to lie openly.

For example, the iPhone 5 was launched as the world's thinnest smartphone, but it wasn't true. Ask any owner or reviewer of the Fujitsu Arrow.

I agree that Apple is great at marketing, but I also don't think that there is any lack of criticism/analysis online. I actually felt that they even failed to set the conversation point with the iPad mini - I have not seen one excited person on the internet, yet many comments complaining about the lack of a Retina screen.

Speaking of aggressive runner-ups, it will be interesting to see how Samsung behaves in the future. Right now, they are still at the "Mac vs PC" stage.[1][2] And they're highly effective too - they've pushed the Note form factor from ridicule into the mainstream. Are they too big already to launch another comparative ad campaign?

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf5-Prx19ZM, [2] http://www.droid-life.com/2012/09/17/this-full-page-galaxy-s...

Good point on the Mac vs PC part.

I recently read an article on HN wherein a user posted asking all of us to be 'civil'. This is the reason why HN isn't so civil. You like a product, you try to support as if you created it and as if the company cares for you, while in reality the company doesn't care about you and you're just doing free marketing for them.

Not to say that you can't defend what you like, but most of what you've written here is very very subjective. One could argue otherwise too, and which is what is happening right here - You're adding subjectivity to your claims and provoking a 'fanboy' war. This is unacceptable.

For example, if I were to counter you, I would then say the entire of Apple's presentations and Marketing is just plain BS. For example they frequently market saying "The world's best Operating System (referring to Mac OS)" or "The fastest phone ever" etc. while these are not true. The iPhone for instance, still runs on a dual core processor. How the fuck can it be the 'fastest' while high-performance quadcore chips were long released even before this phone came into existence?

Where were you during Apple's presentations? I never saw you arguing "Hey that's not true, this is disingenuous" while they marketed their products in a similar fashion.

So may I kindly request you to cut the crap and stop the bias and avoid provoking people into such techno-wars?


> Where were you during Apple's presentations?

This has absolutely no relevance, i hope one is still allowed to be critical of something without simultaneously pointing out all similar flaws in the universe.

> For example, if I were to counter you, I would then say the entire of Apple's presentations and Marketing is just plain BS

Except it doesn't counter anything OP said, since he didn't talk a bit about Apple marketing. Also, OP is providing a constructive analysis, which is quite better than just "this is BS"

> So may I kindly request you to cut the crap and stop the bias and avoid provoking people into such techno-wars?

You are the one using abrasive language here. I did read OP as an interresting (and opinionnated) analysis of what amazon did to make their product seem better.

You know, your whole post coud be rewritten as:

A lot of what you have written here is quite subjective, and in fact you could mount a case that Apple's marketing team do the same sort if things as has been demonstrated by Amazon.

There is no need to flame the original poster. Please reconsider whether the last three sentences were necessary to contribute to the conversation here at HN. In my opinion, they were needlessly inflammatory.

I agree, my apologies. I do realize it was a bit harsh, but his comment was very biased and I just couldn't stand it. I will follow your approach next time. Thanks.

  > How the fuck can it be the 'fastest' while
  > high-performance quadcore chips were long released
  > even before this phone came into existence?
Indeed how? How was scrolling on the first iPhone smoother than on current android devices running on said quad core chips? How about understanding that processor power is not all there is?

  > So may I kindly request you to cut the crap and stop the bias and avoid
  > provoking people into such techno-wars?
And how about you following your own advice?

How was scrolling on the first iPhone smoother than on current android devices running on said quad core chips?

This explains your in-depth knowledge of what processors and their comparisons really mean.

Thank you

This explains your in-depth knowledge of what processors and their comparisons really mean.

Assuming that a quad-core processor would perform better a dual-core, without taking into account processor speed and how the underlying Os and apps exploit the extra cores shows the same "in-depth" knowledge of processors.

On the contrary, what the comment shows is an understanding that "faster" in a regular consumer's mind isn't about CPU benchmarking, but about interacting with the device.

On my 2. gen ipod touch scrolling is slow and lags. It was fast when I bought it though.

Anandtech did a writeup on the iphone 5 performance and on the sunspider test it outperforms the galaxy 3. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6309/iphone-5a6-sunspider-perf...

However I didn't really look at the other tests.

The ipad mini though will probably be slow. It has a chip introduced in march 2011, and back then it wasn't even the fastest chip on the market. It'll be pretty much as slow as the iphone 4s.

So in the interest of civility you call someone -- in essence -- a dupe and unpaid shill and quote the word "fanboy" in criticizing his/her comments. If this is civility, let's go back to simply insulting each other instead of making a pretense of civil discussion.

You then go on to provide evidence in the form of asserting that everything Apple says is "just plain BS" and go on to quote things you assert Apple frequently says which are either (a) not things Apple says or (b) general purpose unassailable and unverifiable claims (best, most comfortable, happiest, etc.).

"Disingenuous" means "lying while pretending to be sincere" versus merely lying -- the key component is hypocrisy. The classic example is when almost anyone starts a sentence with "Well, to be honest..." Another example would be making references to a thread on civility while blatantly insulting someone.

Amazon quoting Gizmodo is disingenuous. The rest of the ad is simply Amazon highlighting the good bits of their product against the correspondingly inferior bits of the rival product.

The fact that Amazon has failed to update its "fastest WiFi of any tablet" graph (despite clearly having updated it since the iPad mini was launched) might also be construed negatively.

A similar ad from Apple would probably discuss size of app library, iOS vs ???, camera quality, size, weight, thinness, and quote professors, school teachers, and reputable reviewers.

Apple claiming their OS is the best in the world is at worst lying and most likely actually what they believe. (Most Mac users probably believe it, even if they recognize that no OS is perfect, right?)

I thought the tone of georgespencer's post was perfectly reasonable. Your post represents a tonal shift into the negative.

Please people, let's not turn HN into MacRumors forums (shudder)

The original post fails to frame its comments within the context of advertising in general and Apple's advertising campaigns specifically.

Advertising is intended to create the perception of differentiation. The bar for accuracy is pretty low, not quite caveat emptor but very nearly so. Tablets have become a commodity, and Amazon is no more disingenuous than a one would find in a campaign where two brands of mid-sized sedans are compared.

It is certainly no less truthful than claims that a device is "magical," nor more disingenuous than comparisons between "Macs and PC's".

The original post's moral outrage simply is not justified to the degree it purports to be unbiased because it is structured as a point by point refutation. It justifies the thesis (of disingenuousness) rather than concluding it to be the case after thoughtful analysis.

The parent's post was quite civil IMO. Your language and last couple paragraphs though....

And just FYI, they never said iPhone 4, 4S or 5 were the fastest "phones", they said they're the "fastest iPhones yet", which is 100% true!

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-... - or do you think benchmarks are irrelevant?

Also, Apple claims it's the fastest _iPhone_ ever. I haven't seen any claim from them that it's the fastest phone ever.

My experience with synthetic benchmarks is from the old days of PC gaming video card comparisons where they ultimately meant very little. Since then I view most benchmarks as almost irrelevant. I say almost because they all have their uses but should not be glorified as much as they are.

Please be civil.

To be fair, neya usually posts positive thoughtful things.

Thank you Chris :)

There will always be fanboys, but the sheer amount of Apple fanboys on HN is amazing. For a community with a supposedly higher intellect than others, to resort to petty comparisons and worshiping of a corporate giant is seriously pathetic.

> For example, if I were to counter you, I would then say the entire of Apple's presentations and Marketing is just plain BS.

It's unfortunate you think this to be a counterargument.

Personally can't stand Apple as a company, and find their products anti-consumer, anti-developer, difficult to use, fairly ugly, and overpriced.

I see none of the incivility that you saw in the parent comment.

>if I were to counter you, I would then say the entire of Apple's presentations and Marketing is just plain BS.

Countering somewhat negative observations about one company != attacking that company's rival. This isn't football.

Consumer chauvinism is weird.

1. Much More for Much Less. Much More is obviously the kindle fire HD, and Much Less is the iPad Mini. Heck, if you remove the 'f' of 'for' you get to the central point here which is to turn the choice into 'Much More or Much Less'.

You are reading way too deeply into this. Unless you have some research to back up your assertion that people frequently misread "for" as "or", it's hard to believe.

5. Because the iPad Mini has a bigger screen in the same overall form factor, they make the same point a different way ("30% more pixels than the Mini" => "216 pixels per inch"). If the Kindle had a bigger screen but lower PPI they'd put the screen size in here.

To be fair, Apple started the density wars. Nobody knew what the acronym PPI meant until Apple started calling it a "Retina" display. It's strange that they can't continue to compete in this category, especially given the high price of their device.

7. The screen of the Kindle Fire is odd looking. The iPad Mini behind it is on its default home screen. I'm guessing that the Kindle Fire has deliberately been shown all in black (with the bg the same colour as the bezel) because it makes it unclear where the bezel ends and the screen begins. (I don't know if this is the default setting of the Kindle Fire HD or not).

The bezel and the UI are different colors, the bezel is shiny while the UI is pure black at the top and has a silverish-black gradient behind the content. I have no trouble seeing where the (large!) bezel ends and the screen begins.

8. Ultra-fast MIMO Wi-Fi vs. A BLANK SPACE. Not even trashing the fact that there is Wifi in the iPad but it's not as fast. It looks like they just gave up at this point.

What kind of Wi-Fi does the iPad have? If not MIMO, this seems to be a valid comparison point. (I would have preferred something more meaningful, like "3x3" or "450Mbps 802.11n", but I have an idea about what they mean.)

The iPad 3 was able to download at >30mbps on wi-fi, much faster on LTE. They say speeds were improved for the 4th gen.


OK, but 3x3 MIMO is 450Mbps. (And we're talking about the mini anyway.)

450mbps == 56mb/s, but Amazon says it does 31mb/s.

Capital B for bytes, thank you.

> It's strange that they can't continue to compete in this category, especially given the high price of their device.

Given that Amazon posted a net loss this past quarter in part due to manufacturing expenses, I wouldn't call their strategy "effectively competing".

While I am sure Amazon stockholders and financial types care very much about a net loss, the consumer market does not. They are very effectively competing in the market for tablets. Whether the way they are competing is good for business is an entirely separate matter.

First of all, the whole "attack" starts with a Gizmodo quote. Nuff said.

"They are very effectively competing in the market for tablets." Yep, it doesn't take a genius to sell anything at loss.

Amazon is a big company. Net loss overall doesn't mean the tablet is at a net loss.

Except for the part where they announced their margins on the tablet were at best razor thin.

This is already a known fact. Their hardware margins are razor thin because they are using the hardware to drive movie, music, book and shopping sales.

A lot of that loss was due to their Living Social investment, most of which was written down. And if they had large manufacturing expenses, are those for devices made and sold last quarter? Or is it for devices made last quarter to be sold this quarter?

That's relevant to a holistic discussion about Amazon's strategy vs. Apple's, but beyond the narrow topic of display resolution.

Apple plainly chose the iPad mini's resolution to ease app compatibility. That this leaves it with a lower-density display is an uncomfortable fact. How much it'll matter to the regular customer, I don't know.

I would have just moved on rather than drawing attention to this fact, but Apple instead chose to return to physical screen size. Personally, I've always valued other aspects of displays more, but they made their call.

Don't tell us about "false marketing" on amazons side.

Did you notice how Phil Schiller showed the iMac on Stage? He always talked about how thin it is and how incredible but he never showed the thicker part of the iMac.

Also noticed that Apple ALWAYS showed every iMac from the side on there website? Since the new iMac, there is only a 20° angle to the iMac, so you can only see the thin border, but not the thicker part behind it.

Oh, btw: have fun with your iPad mini.

Check out the iMac gallery on the Apple Store, the fifth and sixth pictures show a side view. I would expect the show they put on to only provide the best views of their products but at least you can find better pictures on their site.

I'm pretty sure they've included side views in their main product galleries before.

I've looked at the previous lines, but I was surprised (and entirely lost interest in the product when it was clear they weren't willing to present it honestly) when this gallery was so misleadingly shot.

Steve Would Never Have Let It Happen®.

Seriously, their main selling point is "it's so thin" and they won't even show us how thin it is? That's not clever marketing, that's idiotic.

It's also a weird marketing tack to take since "thinness" doesn't really matter on a desktop system. It's another example of Apple's impressive ability to shift the conversation (as polshaw mentioned above) when their products don't come out on top in traditional specs.

The iMac is in a sub-market of desktops (call it All-in-Ones) where design aesthetic does matter. A lot of people have said to me that they're thinking of buying a new iMac, more so than the previous generation, which shows the thinness does resonate with people.

Obviously, this is a small part of the overall desktop market, but it is the bit that Apple is interested in.

I think the iMac "thin" hype was in part a setup to the iPad mini reveal. "See how thin the iMac is...see how thin the iPad is...oh look there's an iPad mini hiding behind there!"

Dude, be civil.

> Don't tell us about "false marketing" on amazons side.

Why not? I thought it was interesting.

> Did you notice how Phil Schiller showed the iMac on Stage?

Yep! I didn't think it was especially relevant in the discussion thread for a story about Amazon marketing the Kindle Fire, though...

> He always talked about how thin it is and how incredible but he never showed the thicker part of the iMac.

He did, but not for very long.

> Also noticed that Apple ALWAYS showed every iMac from the side on there website? Since the new iMac, there is only a 20° angle to the iMac, so you can only see the thin border, but not the thicker part behind it.

That is weird.

> Oh, btw: have fun with your iPad mini.

No plans to buy one.

i should have added a smile to the last sentence. Wasn't meant to offend you!

Heh, s'ok. Smiles on HN get downvoted doublequicktime.

but he never showed the thicker part of the iMac.

He did turn it full sideways to the camera and revealed its bulging back. You can't show off its full thickness any more than that.

It wasn't on screen that way for as long as the "ooo!" moment of the brightly lit knife edge, but it was there for all to see.

Unrelated random thoughts on iMac thickness:

It is really just an aesthetic. The foot print of the machine can't be thin because it would be too easy to knock it over backwards. You can't stick it to a wall because there would be no place for your legs. That leaves aesthetics.

Consider the angles from which you see an iMac. Generally you are mostly in front. As you move off axis beyond the screen perimeter, the edges become visible. These are indeed thin, and deliberately visible in their glorious thinness. If your desk is against a wall you will never see the bulge. If you are in an office with the desk facing the door (always my preference) the bulge is not readily apparent to people entering because of its gradual edges, it is only from about a 30 degree angle of view around the rear sides that you can really see it, and that is the region where you are walking around your desk to sit down, not one visitors inhabit.

You end up with a computer that looks thin. Does it really matter if it isn't?

From my viewpoint, he very carefully moved it between pre-determined camera angles.

I'm sure there were marks on the table showing exactly where to position it at each pause. (Yep, as axx points out, you can see him check the base on the table before turning.) It's that kind of production. People physically present in the audience obviously get varying angles, but unless he is panning it around for everyone you can be sure it is planned for the camera.

Ok, got the keynote downloaded. My memory is off. He doesn't pause at exactly a side view. He passes through it twice, and the split screen shows the bulge pretty well, when they are showing the side, but obviously a viewer's attention could be on the other half of the split.

To my additional surprise, the first glory shot of the thin edge does show about half of the bulge. He could easily have stopped a few degrees sooner and shown no bulge. I wonder if that gives the viewer the belief that the bulge is much smaller than it is. That may be reading too much in.

yes, pretty sure there where predefined marks to place it perfect for the video. if you look closely you'll see how Schiller looks to a monitor and corrects the angle slightly.

It's just a little detail in opinion, but it shows how staged all those presentations are and you can't blame amazon for doing the same.

Agreed both sides have their fair share of false marketing but did you really have to add the last paragraph? Everything else about your counter is reasonable, no need to be snide.

This apparently worked. I've only heard about the new iMac from apple.com and until reading this post I had no idea that it wasn't as thin as it appeared. I was so amazed when I saw it.

Why such a great support to Apple even when it is so evident that the mini iPad is a first generation product? I think it has become fashionable to praise Apple even when it falls short and bash others even when they exceed expectations. This is analogous to transforming from fanboyism to fanaticism.

I hail from a place where the worth of 200$ or 300$ for a tablet cannot be justified, where we demand true value for money. So I guess I can look at these without any bias.

I am quite confident that Apple's iPad mini will have better resolution (more pixels, to be clear) in its next version. And you will find yourself saying "yes, more pixels is better".

Perhaps, Amazon is not the greatest competitor that Apple will face. Perhaps, it would be Samsung or Google. Amazon's products will not match Apple's perceived quality. Yet, these things do not change the fact that Amazon's price point would drive down the profitability of Apple products. And that, Amazon's price point will look attractive to certain segment of people (at least those like me, who believe in value for money).

>Why such a great support to Apple even when it is so evident that the mini iPad is a first generation product?

It's not really a first gen product. It's an iPad with the same aspect ratio, but a smaller screen.

> I hail from a place where the worth of 200$ or 300$ for a tablet cannot be justified, where we demand true value for money. So I guess I can look at these without any bias.

No, you just have a different bias.

If a $100 difference in price is a lot to you but it's not a lot to me, then your definition of value and mine are likely to be very different.

Value for money is tied into a whole load of things including how hard I had to work to get that money, what else that money might be spent on, what the improvement you get for that money is worth and so on.

These things are all relative - when it comes to matters of opinion, it's best not to claim no bias, it's easier just to state your positions and assumptions and let others factor them in.

> Again, I'm not blaming Amazon for any of this. It's just interesting to see how much thought has gone into basically attempting to deceive consumers.

It says things that are strictly true and presents the Fire in the best possible light, while leaving off anything that might balance out the comparison.

There's probably some weird parallel to Hacker News called Copywriting News where they're praising the people who created this promo.

>There's probably some weird parallel to Hacker News called Copywriting News where they're praising the people who created this promo.

I want Copy News so much now :(

You're overthinking it. Amazon is basically saying the iPad Mini is underpowered and more expensive. Yeah, what else is new? If Apple competed on tech specs and price, they wouldn't have sold a single Mac in the last 15 years. Price and specs is not why people will be buying the mini.

It's nearly impossible to compare raw specs when Apple is making their own chips. Android devices have had more cores and more Hertz than the iPhone for years, but only recently have they been able to start matching the iPhone in performance… that's that was entirely because of faster software.

My wife's (3yo?) Kindle Keyboard burnt out a couple weeks ago. The Kindle Paperwhite had a 6 week wait on it, so we waited an extra week for the Mini announcement.

The iPad Mini has a bigger screen, and is lighter than the Nexus 7 or Fire HD by a fair margin.

The press seems to be all about resolution and techie specs, but I just sold my iPad2 (to upgrade to a 4th gen), and a shrunk down iPad2, at half the weight, lighter than the competition by a decent margin seems like a slam dunk to me.

I guess time will tell, but if the primary use is as a reader, then the device with the biggest screen and the lightest weight seems like the obvious winner unless there's something horribly wrong with it. And there's certainly nothing horribly wrong with an iPad2.

Why will people be buying the Mini?

Because it's Apple.

People know Apple, they know how it will perform, they know it will run the Apps their friends talk about, they know the Apple stores are there if they need service, etc.

The iPad Mini, instead of being a bold play to kill the 7" tablet competitors is (unsurprisingly, perhaps) merely a smaller iPad. Maybe a somewhat cheaper iPad, but not an appreciably cheaper tablet at it's size.

And instead of shooting to further lower the price as advances roll down, it will almost certainly remain a smaller iPad, rather than a cheaper tablet; picking up the "retina" display and increasingly faster internals, rather than further cutting price. [1]

[1] Except maybe that odd $29 'bulge'. Apple doesn't seem to keep those around. e.g. IIRC the last-gen iPod Touch rocked a $229 price on entry, but as soon as they could they knocked it down to $199 and intro'd the new model at $299.

Don't most smartphone users have an Android phone? And wouldn't they therefore want to reuse the apps they've already paid for when they switch to a tablet?

This is purely a personal observation based on the people I know who have iPhones and Android, but I've noticed quite a differnce in the typical users.

Most of the iPhone users I know are at least reasonably passionate about their platform, are keen on tech (and therefore more likely to want a tablet) and have usually invested fairly heavily in apps.

Android users that I know are mostly split into two camps - the high-tech users who made a very conscious decision to go to Android, usually out a desire to be able to customise/have more control of their device. These people are again quite likely to be in the market for tablets, and have probably invested in their apps (although there seem to be more free ad-supported apps on Android, so the actual cash investment may not always be as high).

But there's another, and again purely from personal experience, much wider group of Android users. Those who got it cheap/free on their latest contract upgrade, who aren't that passionate at all about either tech or their platform, who have probably not downloaded many, or even any, apps on there. Much of my family, and many of my low-tech friends, are in this camp - they are Android users, but hardly aware of the fact.

If so it hasn't translated into any sort of "halo effect" for android tablets to date. I'm not sure why that concern would be expected to suddenly manifest after Apple releases a device.

No-one really seemed interested in Android tablets regardless, until Amazon dipped their toes in with a tablet that didn't make a strong 'keep your apps' case [1]. Google got some recent interest with a tablet offering potential cross-device support that's relevant to many more people, but absent sales figures it'd be a stretch to project either of those as evidence of an android halo.

Particularly given Android's particularly strong penetration overseas and Amazon/Google's notably US-centric introductions.

Beyond that, you're assuming Android users have lots of paid apps and notable numbers of those paid apps have tablet versions or still make sense on a tablet [2]. I'm pretty certain most Android users don't have such large libraries of paid apps that they'd present any meaningful consideration when choosing a tablet.

Particularly these days when every app outside of games and multimedia editing apps is just a front end to a web service that offers both iOS and Android clients.

[1] An offering where you could probably get some existing android apps to run, but not through methods non-tinkers are likely to suffer. (Installing a second store? Sideloading?)

[2] e.g. if we're still talking kindle fire/nexus 7, there's no cell data. GPS info is limited compared to a phone. Camera apps may not be worth it with lesser sensors. etc.

Even on iOS I would be surprised if many people used the exact same apps on their phone and their tablet. Aside from some 'universal' games -- things tend to make sense or not largely based on form factor. And the outliers people do use on both, anecdotally at least, are overwhelmingly 'consuming web service' types of apps. (instapaper, facebook, etc)

Apple devoted a whole segment of their iPad mini pitch to showing that Android tablet apps are often just upsized versions of the same UI as for phones, whereas iPad apps tend to be more often designed for the iPad screen.

Whether you believe this or not, this is what Apple are telling consumers about app reuse on Android vs iOS.

Sure they would. However, the Android market has not caught up to that yet. I base that on the Android forums I am reading. Android probably has a year to go before that is "true".

Because of the abundance of good, cheap apps that Android users have to wait or hope for.

At first place, I thought you are Apple representative. Why are you so aggressive?

These are the marketing tactics and do you thing Apple have never done this before?

> I'm guessing that the Kindle Fire has deliberately been shown all in black (with the bg the same colour as the bezel)

You need to calibrate your monitor. The screen shown on the Fire is dark grey, but not black. I can clearly see where the screen ends on the top, right, and left. The bottom is a subtle gradient to black, though.

> 1. Much More for Much Less. Much More is obviously the kindle fire HD, and Much Less is the iPad Mini

I guess they actually mean you can get much more benefits for much less money

I'm not really shocked by the slant to the advertisement.

However it's interesting because Amazon is the world's largest online retailer, and they're using their advantage in that area to push their products, now that they make products.

Seems like a poor path to go down if you want manufacturers to keep selling products through your store.

Some of this is valid but a lot of it seems like a reach, like you were trying to pad out your list.

> Much Less is the iPad Mini

Not even likely. "Much less" is only about money: $199 vs $329

Does anyone know where this "No HD movies or TV" thing is coming from? Can the iPad mini not play 720p content or something? A link to where this is stated would be helpful.

I wrote this comment on a prior discussion about this:

> SD vs HD, is dependent upon who you ask. The CEA, which represents the TV makers, says that anything with at least 720 lines is HDTV, thus enabling 1024x768 to be called HDTV. ATSC, which develops broadcast standards, says that HDTV should be 720 or 1080 lines at 16:9 aspect ratio, which implies 1280x720 or 1920x1080.


I'm sure it can play an HD movie if that's the file you have, just the screen resolution is such that it won't appear as HD to your eyes.

But this post is a wonderful example of the sort of doubt Amazon will be very happy to have spread as a result of the ads.

So Amazon is just saying that 720p is not HD enough? They have decided to define HD as high-dpi screens only all of a sudden? I guess it goes with their branding, but yeah, totally misleading.

iPad mini can't play 720p either (1280x720) without scaling or cropping since the screen is only 1024x768.

They're probably using 1080P as the definition of HD.

The last time I looked at buying a movie in iTunes, the max resolution they sold was 720P.

720p as HD definition will suffice for Amazon.

iPad mini has 768 pixels, but the display is 4:3. It will not display 720 lines without distorting the video. Or cropping. To play 16:9, it will be displayed as 1024x576 with black bars at top and bottom. 576 happens to be SD PAL.

No longer the case. They started renting/selling 1080p content with (or perhaps before) the release of the 1080p Apple TV.

In the Apple keynote the nexus 7 looked a lot crappier than in real life; the bezel was all washed out grey instead of black etc.

This your first ad?

Aren't points 1-8 commonly referred to as "advertising"?

As far as the "Ultra-fast MIMO Wi-Fi", iPad Mini has that too. (I can only assuming they're referring to 802.11n)

Here's the slide from the Kindle HD announcement: http://www.androidcentral.com/amazon-hails-improved-mimo-wif...

At the time it beat the iPad 3 but I don't know if the mini changes that.

Hmm…iPad 3 supports 802.11n (which has MIMO) as well. Perhaps the Fire HD is still faster, but it seems disingenuous to leave the iPad column blank.

I could be mistaken, but: 802.11n supports MIMO, it doesn't imply it. MIMO is basically multiple antennas (I think).

In real world applications I think the real benefit is increased range. In an office setting, I could definitely see that being useful.

That probably was not against the latest iPad released the same time as the mini.

Because Apple showed great sensitivity in their Vista commercials ?

When you're a Microsoft, an Apple or a Google you have the money to create something truly epic - and none of them have.

The Surface has great design, as do all of Apple's products. However the Surface, while having the potential for great software, comes with something not quite finished. So while it's eminently usable as it is, it falls short of greatness.

The iPad Mini, similarly, has the quality one expects from Apple, and yet the features, such as the display resolution and lack of GPS, give it a feel of mediocrity. And iOS itself feels a little long in the tooth these days. Not what you'd expect from Apple.

Google of course have an OS that outsells any other. And yet that's plagued by patent infringements, operators and manufacturers that aren't incentivised to update the OS, and the subsequent slew of (real or perceived) security holes. Android could be truly open, but isn't.

All three companies have the resources to create something earth-shatteringly innovative, usable and beautiful. And yet they don't. Nokia with the 920 is the only one that seems to get close. This really surprises me, given the importance we're placing on the mobile market.

I think they are all epic in their own way.

Especially in the case of the Surface - it's the first version of the product! The original iOS and Android devices all had crappy or non-existant app stores when they were launched, and were plagued with problems and limitations.

Similarly, for the right use-cases iPad Mini and the Nexus tablets are epic, and many people adore them.

What's so great about Surface besides its design and build material? I don't mean to knock on those. I think they are great, but that doesn't equal that the product overall is great. Windows RT is performing very poorly on an high-end ARM chip (don't want to imagine how it would perform on an older dual core ARM chip, or god forbid a single core one) compared to the true mobile operating systems like Android and iOS, and its app store is virtually non-existent. Office on it is also an exercise in frustration.

The price is also too high for what it offers. Even if the build of materials is exactly the same as the iPad 4 (I think it's lower), that doesn't mean it should cost exactly the same as an iPad 4. Because it offers lower value than an iPad (think ecosystem, brand, etc). I also don't think it's acceptable for a $500+ product to have such a low resolution anymore. And don't tell me it has an "extra 16 GB". It doesn't. It only has 17 free GB of storage.

You should go play with one in person. It is a really neat tablet experience. Spec for spec it may not appear that competitive, but the user experience is really slick. Snapping apps side by side (have your music on a small pane, and another app on the larger one), the app switching model, side swipes to pull up menus, and the look and feel of Metro are all really refreshing takes on a touch os.

Almost all the complaints I have heard relate to the apps, particularly third party apps. The OS itself everyone seems to agree runs very smoothly. Considering it was only released last Friday, I think we should give them a little more time to mature.

Some people like the "big phone" style tablets, but personally I'm much more interested in a tablet that is a true multitasking full-fat device. Surface is imperfect, but it's a great step in the right direction.

For some people it's better value than the iPad, for some its worse.

> However the Surface, while having the potential for great software, comes with something not quite finished. So while it's eminently usable as it is, it falls short of greatness.

It's like "kaizen" never happened. People really need to stop thinking about revolutionary change and remember what happens with good iterative design.

When I have a product that I'm supposed to interact with many times each day I really don't want change. I want something calming and familiar that gets better over time.

If we're comparing their latest tablet products, shouldn't Google's be the Nexus 7? (Or, probably within a week, the all-but-inevitable Nexus 10.)

The Nexus series represent the only devices that Google directly supports, after all. In which case I think we can strike out all the complaints you list, from the customer's perspective. The focus then turns to Android's perceived handicap in regards to tablet apps.

Sure, they have the money to create something epic. But to build something epic and sell it for under $300 is taking a loss just for the epic-ness of it.

That is not how Apple, MS or Google got to where they are.

I believe that what Gizmodo says is actually true and something that Apple "forgot" to mention when comparing(highlight the "good" things while omitting all the other things) the Nexus 7 with their new iPad so I do not blame Amazon for pointing it out to a wider public. If Apple wants to play this game, they must be ready to get fought back.

EDIT: also, I still have no idea why isn't that thing Retina. I mean, they have putted it on everything, iPhone, iPad and Air, why not this? the Retina might be still the only great feature of iDevices and they have removed it? Why ? to put it in the next model to double the sales? To make it cheaper? It is not. This things make me really dislike Apple.

Air's aren't Retina. Mac Books aren't Retina. iMacs aren't Retina. In short, what you have posted is completely wrong.

As for Amazon's ad, it doesn't really matter to me. Apple can deal with it. I'm not going to spend my morning debating it on HN.

The one good thing about it is that Amazon wants to compete strongly for the tablet market. As a consumer of any "faith", this is good because it will create a technology race where we all win.

You can get Macbook Pros with retina displays now, which is what I assume you meant by Macbook since the Macbook-non-Pro line is discontinued.

Pedantry aside, I agree with you.

It seems that they still sell MacBook Pro's without Retina:


I guess they've moved these down into the price slot. Retina has only been out since June. It'll probably take another year before everything is Retina.

Another thing to consider is that Apple just introduced AutoLayout in iOS. They will expect developers to have adopted that within a year or so, which will free them from the basic resolution doubling that they've been doing.

> Why ? to put it in the next model to double the sales?

Yes, apple has a long history of only releasing the stuff it needs to (arguably favouring stuff like battery life over these features-- iPhone without 3G, 4S with no LTE, etc), and then release an 'amazing' new version later. All the retina items (which doesn't include MBA, fyi), all had a non-retina alternative on launch, too.

> To make it cheaper? It is not.

It is. For apple. There was no way they were going to compete on price in the 7" space. I'm confident the margins on the mini are no better than those on the regular one, too.

Apple are known to take much bigger margins than competitors on their hardware. The reason has actually been given by Jeff Bezos during the Kindle HD announcement: Amazon wants to sell their ecosystem, their ebooks, movies and music; the hardware is only a gateway to allow users to buy from their store. Apple makes money on hardware itself and needs a bigger cut (even if they have an ecosystem on their own, much bigger that is in some domains).

* why isn't that thing Retina. I mean, they have putted it on everything, iPhone, iPad and Air, why not this?

Air does not have Retina.

Best two reasons for not being retina:

• panel availability at volume and price

• power availability. Retina means about four times the power draw for rendering.

Both of these will improve with time. Eventually retina will come.

Do you have any actual data to back up the second point? Don't get me wrong, I understand the fill rates necessary, but i keep hearing this with no real data.

After spending the past 6-8 months working with all sorts of embedded GPU's (mainly as an HTPC hobby on embedded boards), I kinda have serious doubts that the power usage is the factor here, and would like to see real data, not assumptions.

You are assuming that higher resolution requires linear scaling of number of cores/shaders/etc, and thus, 4 times the power. If it's displaying using 3D, it's definitely not true (it requires linear scaling of some hardware, but not all hardware, and thus, power usage is not necessarily going to be 4x).

On the 2D side, 2D cores have been so fast for the past "whatever" that it's not clear it would require any more power than normal.

In fact, the only articles i can find that did any real testing show the power usage is only increased about 30% (overall, including both panel and GPU) on a full sized laptop. Their methodology seemed very suspect, so I don't want to quote them here, just point out that there is some alternative claims.

I'm not trying to pick on you in particular, it just seems the common refrain for why the ipad mini is not retina, and i haven't seen a single shred of evidence to back it up.

In my 3D iOS and Mac OS work I'm working on now, I am essentially entirely fragment shader bound (per screen pixel work). Quadruple the pixels and I need quadruple the energy per frame to do the fragment shading. The vertex shading and main CPU work stays the same, and the backlight obviously stays the same, so the total energy required doesn't quadruple, and 30% sounds like a reasonable ballpark estimate for that.

I don't think Apple would accept reducing the battery life from 10 hours to 7 hours in exchange for a retina display on the inaugural iPad mini. That gets the wrong story in the media. Not having a premium feature that most people haven't seen is very different from "can't get through a day without charging and you have to buy all new chargers".

FWIW I have one on order, and I expect to be disappointed in the non-retina display. I moved my iPad 3 to my daughter and went back to my iPad 2 a while ago and it just looks like a bunch of fuzzy mosaic tiles to me now when I try to read on it.

Re: Retina display ...

I would guess it's battery. My iPad 3 is heavy yet the battery life is significantly lower than my iPad 1 (and it takes ages to charge).

Mare sure you are using the supplied 2Amp charger, if you use an iPhone one or computer USB port it will take ages!!! Still takes longer though...

> also, I still have no idea why isn't that thing Retina

I can't find the link, but I remember reading that if the Mini had the iPad's retina display shrunk down, it would have had an unbelievably high resolution display, which would have increased the price of the Mini significantly.

Not something Apple would want when targeting the 7" tablet market.

I suspect Mini "2" will have Retina.

yeah, so all the idiots ran to the next apple store to replace their one year old iPad mini FINALLY!!11 with a Retina one. I HUGE INNOVATION IN DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY!

I was an Apple "Fanboy" for years, and all my computers are macs, but from time to time i get the feeling i need to switch to Unix or something else...

> I was an Apple "Fanboy" for years, and all my computers are macs, but from time to time i get the feeling i need to switch to Unix or something else...

You're already using Unix. Mac OS X is a certified Unix system.

yeah, i know that already. I meant a more Linux oriented OS. So to save time i wrote unix instead of mentioning all those popular unix distributions.

Linux isn't a UNIX distribution. It's Linux. Linux can be described as 'UNIX like'.

OTOH, if you use the iPad as a model, that would mean it gets slower and thicker and heavier. Which was kind of OK in the iPad but probably wouldn't fly with the iPad mini.

It's probably battery life. The Retina iPad has a battery that's nearly twice as big as the iPad 2 and iPad mini and it's mostly to drive that screen.

I believe that the power requirements are down to the number of pixels more than the size.

Not a bad idea. The low dpi screen of the iPad mini really is a glaring flaw when you consider the price.

And because of that price, there's going to be a long future for Android tablets in the sub-$250 range, now that Google and Amazon have proven you can make and sell a worthy device for that kind of money.

They've proven that you can sell at that price, but not that you can make money at that price. Time will tell.

Their profit isn't from the hardware sale, but from the media/apps thereafter.

It's an interesting model that makes them a real threat to both Apple and Android/WinRT based manufacturers. Cheap high quality tablets sold at cost with a great ecosystem behind it.

Of their competitors, only Apple both makes the hardware and has the ecosystem, and they will never beat Amazon on price.

They aren't going to take over the whole market, but I can see them getting a good sized chunk of it.

As long as they're not losing money, I really don't see a problem with this. For Google, having a decent Android tablet available at that price clearly helps them in ways beyond immediate profit from hardware sales.

Oh yeah, another pro Android/Amazon/Google anti-Apple comment/article/submission. This is not getting tired, not one little bit. This specific point has been covered recently as well. While this points out select bits where 'on paper' the Kindle HD is 'better' its not the entire story is it? Nothing there about build quality or durability for instance, or the ecosystem or UI/UX or that the user can most probably update the OS (compared to Android where updates are few and far between and tend to never come if you are talking about Samsung)

I loved my Nexus 7, right up until it broke (for the 4th time). This time round the screen split from corner to corner previous times the screen developed faults and once the screen actually came loose from the body. It cost 209 quid in the UK (including delivery) and I wished to hell I waited off to get the iPad mini because apart from the beautiful responsive UI/UX, applications, app store and iTunes store its probably like most Apple devices in that its built like a tank.

Sometimes its not just about figures.

"Sometimes its not just about figures."

Neither is it about your anecdotes. This isn't an anti-Apple submission so much as the news of Amazon's first real direct marketing attack on Apple.

They left out the bullet point about the remote wipe feature. I hear that's a Kindle specialty.

Ha, that's a good point! I'm curious, though: is it possible to do that on a Kindle Fire? I had thought that was only possible on a regular (Black and White) Kindle

It's a shame that they have resorted to direct attacks, but given Apple's comments about "all 7" tablets" I can't really blame them.

I do wish they would all just shut up and concentrate on the value of their own products though.

My experience shopping on Amazon - a bit like browsing in a vast, chaotic and disorganized third-world marketplace - is not one I'd like extended to my computing platform.

Amazon and others can tout narrow features as much as they want, but I still prefer the better-managed end-to-end experience Apple provides in their ecosystems.

Ever use the app store?

The Fire HD seems to have an easier to sell homescreen too. While the iPad has these small icons with flowers and such (even in their official marketing) the Kindle's homescreen presents a plethora of stuff to appeal to the mass market: feature films, popular books, popular magazines, angry birds (I'm not sure about the US, but Angry Birds seems to have quite a long lasting appeal especially among young teenagers), Facebook, Skype, TV.

While the iPad can do all of this, the Kindle immediately demonstrates this to the consumer. I can see it doing really well against the iPad mini with that sort of imagery being shown to customers.

Having owned both, I am sticking with the iPad. The Fire is good for the price but I constantly got the feeling that I was working to use the device. But that's just one man's opinion. I know others who swear by the Fire.

The first 2 lines (display, PPI) and the price line are why I did not buy an iPad mini, which would have been my first tablet had it been priced at $200 or maybe even $249. So marketing is dead on, in my view.

Instead I bought an Apple-refurbished iPad 3, for $379, which is $79 more than the soon-to-be-shipped Kindle HD 8.9".

For $50 more than the Mac Mini I get a bigger and better display. And for $79 more than the Kindle HD 8.9 I get better apps and user experience.

EDIT: clarified what first 2 lines were

So companies use marketing to spin their products? Selecting language and images that favours their stuff over the competition?

Let me get a pen and paper and write this down.

I'm becoming "that guy," it seems, but how is this relevant to Hacker News? This is little more than something which will stir up "fanboys" -- which by the way seems to have worked judging from the current top, and needlessly long, comment.

Summed up, this 'news' story boils down to: "Amazon advertises product." Queue hundreds of comments arguing about why the add is accurate or not; why product X is the worst, and shameful, and product Y is the best and wholesome.

Has anyone opened a news paper, magazine, turned on the radio or TV, or been on the internet? One company saying that it's product is better than the competition is kind of, well, completely normal -- Advertising 101, if I may be so bold. Why aren't we arguing to death about car commercials slamming their competition? Hell, what about Oxy-Clean, huh? Billy Mayes' talked a bunch of crap about Tide. Where is that discussion? Are people not ready to defend Tide's name as they are Apple/Amazon's?

People get so emotionally invested in certain products. It's completely silly.

Can we stop this inanity and go back to endlessly arguing about how worthless PHP is now?

Here's their full comparison:


Tell you one thing, apple.com's got them beat on URLs ..

"Create custom profiles for each child".

This is actually something that I do wish iOS would introduce. My daughter is not getting her own iPad any time soon, but I'd love to be able to lock down the apps/features that she's able to use on mine.

Does anyone know why iPad has single speaker?

Just want to add that this is one of my biggest gripes with the iPad. I have to position things behind my iPad to hear things sometimes. It's by far the worst part of the iPad.

I expect they will say it's because having two speakers so close together wouldn't give you a stereo experience (be distinguishable).

<cynical> That is until the next version where it becomes a feature...</cynical>

I think it should have one speaker at each of 3 corners at least.

Also it would be nice if they invented some cleaver way of directing sound towards the user because now when I use iPad I have to user my hand as a makeshift reflector to hear anything.

They forgot to mention app numbers..

And that is exactly the reason why vendors like to control the distribution / means of access to their products. e.g. Apple retail stores selling Apple products, Chrome as a browser to access Google products from desktop or Android from mobile, etc.

The goal is not having other companies in a position in which they can significantly affect your business if they choose to do so (e.g. indie developers and the Apple app store).

So we're using the word "ballsy" now in promotional copy? Because it seems to me that the word could be construed by some to be sexist.

Have you seen their commercials? They have one where a whole family has Kindles for and drive home how much less it costs compared to a loner guy with an iPad. So not surprisingly they compare direct like this...

Sorry, only eink kindles are being sold to Canada, and if I bring one in, software portion of device de-activates after 30+ days of being outside of the US, So thus no comparison unfortunately.

Somehow Amazon have upped the ante against Apple ever since Steve Jobs passed away. The keynote slides in which Bezos revealed the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD were so Apple like.

They forgot one feature:

Your device can be locked at random and only by raising a major media storm you may regain access to your device and stuff you've bought.

I do not know if Apple has done this, can someone enlighten me?

If only the kindle fire shipped to countries where most people live.

The list of countries where Amazon has deals in place to distribute digital content (apart from eBooks) is pretty low:


In the long run I am in complete agreement with Bezos on this. Content is what matters. Devices come and go but my relationship with an album or a book means something to me.

If they talk about the competition, they're scared of the competition, and the more they talk, the more scared they are. That goes for Apple, Google, Amazon and all the rest.

This bothered me at first, but then I thought to myself: anyone naive enough to believe the Kindle Fire HD is better than the iPad mini deserves to own a Kindle Fire HD.

I was just thinking the same about iOS device customers.

My first impression is that Amazon is displaying the possible margin they could get with Kindle Fire HD. Maybe someone in AMZ is regretting pricing it that low.

Doesn't matter how much better the specs on this device are. I'm uncomfortable using it to purchase content that can be revoked without warning or appeal[1] and nothing short of a popular article on Hacker News can reverse their decision (and only then as a PR issue).

I realize you're also "renting" content from Apple but the company doesn't have a history of abusing this and Amazon does.

1 - http://digitaljournal.com/article/335484

Perhaps Apple will release an iPad mini with Retina Display sooner because of the peer pressure:)

ipad/iphone has never been the best device hardware-wise. but they deliver a good experience despite having inferior hardware with better OS, apps, content etc.

And [Special Offers] aren't available on the iPad either...

Are Apple competing on hardware or software?

Amazon doth protest too much, methinks.

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