If you wondered how Amazon would respond to Apple rolling out a smaller version of its market-leading iPad, look no further than its home page. Amazon is on the offensive after Apple reported a sellout for the iPad mini.
Amazon's home page offers a quote from Gizmodo that touts, "[Apple's] 7.9-inch tablet has far fewer pixels than the competing 7-inch tablets! You're cramming a worse screen in there, charging more, and accusing others of compromise? Ballsy."
Amazon then offers a headline that reads, "Much More for Much Less" and a side-by-side comparison between the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad mini. Of course, the Kindle Fire HD has a "shop now" link next to the $199 price tag, which is highlighted in orange next to the iPad mini's $329 price.
Apples to Amazons
According to Amazon's stack up, the Kindle Fire HD offers a "stunning HD display with 30 percent more pixels than iPad mini." Apple's product, by contrast, has a "standard definition, low-resolution display."
Amazon went on to compare pixel to pixel. The Kindle Fire HD has 216 pixels per inch while the iPad mini has 163 pixels per inch. The Kindle Fire HD has dual stereo speakers while the iPad mini has a mono speaker. The Kindle Fire HD has MIMO Wi-Fi. But then Amazon hit Apple where it really hurt: content. The Kindle Fire HD lets you watch HD movies and TV. The iPad mini doesn't have that same video content ecosystem.
Apple introduced the iPad mini last week. It's 23 percent thinner and 53 percent lighter than the third generation iPad and offers a 7.9-inch display. It does offer something the Kindle Fire HD doesn't, though -- more than 275,000 tablet-specific apps.
Android Dominates Tablets
While Amazon goes after Apple's jugular, Microsoft is hoping its Surface sees success. Microsoft is reporting that its Windows RT Surface tablet's $499 model sold out in a single day of pre-orders. The next batch is supposed to ship out within three weeks. But analysts aren't convinced it's going to be a blockbuster.
Meanwhile, Google just rolled out new Nexus tablets to compete for the holiday season. And Android is gaining on Apple's global tablet shipments from a mobile operating system standpoint. According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 25 million units in the third quarter of 2012. Apple iOS slipped to 57 percent global market share, allowing Android to capture a record 41 percent share.
"Android captured a record 41 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q3 2012, jumping from 29 percent a year earlier," said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. "Global Android tablet shipments doubled annually to 10.2 million units. No single Android vendor comes close to Apple in volume terms at the moment, but the collective weight of dozens of hardware partners, such as Asus, Samsung and Nook, is helping Google's Android platform to register a growing presence in tablets."