Amazon’s Fire: does anyone really use it?

I’m a podcast junky. I love listening to them, it makes my work day go by much easier.  Since I am a geek at heart, I tend to listen to technology oriented podcasts (No Agenda is, for now, the lone exception.) As such, I listen to the ‘biggies’ like TWiT, Windows Weekly, The Vergecast, Macbreak Weekly and the Engadget podcast to name a few. The past few weeks, these podcasts have focused on tablets, Windows 8 and Android.  Of course, the announcement of the new Android tablet from Google has most of these people speculating that it will shut down other competitors like the Kindle Fire.

For some reason, the press (and these podcasters) have turned on Amazon and the Fire. I’ve heard things like ‘sales fell like a brick after the Christmas frenzy’ and ‘no one uses them.’  That last one I have heard repeatedly since that Google announcement. It makes me wonder…just how do they arrive at this conclusion?

Well, they usually use internet web access analytics.  And, surprise, the Kindle is barely a speck on that chart. iPad, by far, takes the lions share of the mobile numbers. Android is right there at number two.  Kindle Fire? way down in the bowels of the chart. Windows Mobile 6 seems to have higher numbers.  Why is this? Amazon sold a few million Fires. Surely, these people use the fire online, right? Well, maybe yes, maybe no.  I know myself, I use it for Facebook and…not much else. Sometimes, depending on where I am, I may use it to hit up, the Verge or CNN. Mainly, though, I use apps to get my internet related content. Things like Flipboard and USA Today. I read PC Magazine on the Fire. I also use it for reading the books I’ve purchased and, yes, I listen to podcasts on the device when I neglect my Zune (which, unfortunately, seems to happen a lot these days…I must be getting old or something.)

Now, mind you, I may not be a typical user, but my instinct says that I use my Fire quite a lot like most would and, since it is sold by Amazon and marketed primarily as eReader, I suspect most will use if for that purpose and not for browsing. So, for these ‘reporters’ and podcasters to make such a statement, based solely on numbers for web pages, is just ludicrous. Of course, many of these same people also claimed that the Wii was used once or twice and put in a closet. Right. For nearly five years, the Wii sold like hotcakes and so did software for the device. The top ten in software sales would be dominated by Nintendo for four of those five years. Yet, according to the ‘experts’, no one played it. Funny, we have two and they still get quite a lot of play. Nothing tops Mario and as for the Fire, it’s a dandy tablet. Good size, decent performance and does not cost a bloody arm and a leg, only a Wii and Mario Kart.