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Jean Russell

Thank you for this Steve. I am thinking about doing a major tech transition... moving from smart phone to dumb phone and getting a tablet instead of the smart phone. From a pricing and use perpective - of both the objects and the paired services, I think this makes sense. Although I haven't figured out the camera dimension. I am trying to carry fewer gadgets. So, if I go to a tablet, which direction? I need it to do video skype/facetime. My computer is a macbook, but my phone runs android. I depend on google for integrating calendar and email. What is the resilient and wise choice? Homogenize tools -- go toward all apple products and even leave google? There is an argument for that. Suggestions?

At a completely different level of the conversation, can we have a dialogue around ecosystems? :)

Hope you are recovering well.

ps. are you calling the Amazon os - Flame or Fire?


Hi Jean and thanks for pointing out the confusion on Flame and Fire. I meant to call it FlameOS as Fire is the device and there will be several over time. It sounds better than AmazonOS and it will be increasingly wrong to call it Android as time goes on. It is out of Google's hands.

I'll talk to you separately about the devices. If you are looking for a general purpose tablet the only one you'll be happy with is the iPad. Android tablets are not "there" yet. The cameras are not great for photography, but are fine for Skype and Facetime. For reasonable photography a tablet doesn't make much sense from a UX point of view.

The ecosystem dialog is very important - so rich. Your insights are useful on the subject.


Excellent post, St4eve.

Interesting that the two companies positioned to sweep the tablet market are those with deep customer-facing brands: Apple and Amazon. Google is a reluctant brand (all those years in beta taught them bad habits) that never seems to grasp the holistic customer. The fact that Google's users are really their "product" (for advertisers) doesn't help.

I can't imagine that a strong brand would ever tolerate "fragmentation." It's antithetical to the unified experience that makes brands successful.

Howard Greenstein

Interestingly enough the Fire is a 7" tab which is the same size as the original Samsung Galaxy tab. With a recent update to Android 2.3 (by jailbreak not carrier), the device has taken on new life as it can now do skype video, Netflix, and potentially be a phone (with a little more online forum reading and a SIM card).

I like the model for the Amazon tab, but want to see how "locked down" it is - will I be able to install non-Amazon web store apps? Will I be able to avoid their cloud speedup/constant observation of surfing habits?

Hope you're feeling better, Steve.


Amazon has said you can turn off the split browser mode, but performance will suffer. My guess is most people who buy it will not even think about the potential issues and will leave their machines completely stock just like a regular Kindle.

This does seem to be precipitating a real fire sale (pun intended) for the other non-iPad tablets. Prices have crashed from iPad levels to about $300 overnight. Probably companies clearing out stock. I have no idea how any of them will be able to make any money without participating in some other ecosystem that benefits the hardware marker. A brutal race to the bottom perhaps?

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