Amazon released a major update for the Kindle Fire this morning, which would reportedly fix many of the most common issues on the new device, but Conan O'Brien still found plenty of ways to make fun of Amazon's iPad 2 competitor. He and Team Coco released a video from his TBS late night show 'Conan, which lampoons Amazon's new tablet offering.
One of the big gifts this Christmas is the Kindle Fire, which is Amazon's answer to the iPad, O'Brien said. But a lot of customers are complaining about a bunch of problems they experienced with the Kindle Fire. Just a couple of hours ago, the company released this message to reassure their customers.
The video message from your friends at Amazon.com features a man who bears absolutely no resemblance to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's bald CEO.
Hi, I'm Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as far as you know, he says. I'm here to reassure you that we here at Amazon have listened to all of your complaints about our new Kindle Fire, and we've got it all well in hand.
One common complaint the fake Bezos brings up is how easy it is to accidentally hit the on/off switch at the top of the tablet. Faux Bezos offers an easy solution: take a piece of duct tape and put it over the switch. Easy!
He then continues to solve other problems of the device, which are all made up, such as its blaring horn alarm for every time you check the Web and its occassional tendency to catch fire.
And if all else fails, there's our brand-new, one-push solution button right here at the bottom, says faux Bezos, who points to a lit up button on the bottom of the Kindle Fire that reads, Buy iPad 2 Now!
Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet was designed to finally topple Apple's iPad with a stylish digital offering that was competitive in both performance and price. Yet, since the device was released on Nov. 21 for $199, new owners have filed hundreds of complaints with Amazon, particularly about its lack of an external volume control and how its Amazon Silk browser lacks privacy features.
I feel the Fire is going to be a failure, said Jakob Nielsen, an expert at Silicon Valley consulting group Nielsen Norman Group. I can't recommend buying it.
Besides the bugs and other software issues, critics have serious concerns about the usability of the Kindle Fire going forward. Amazon hopes the coming update will mitigate some of these complaints, but reviews and analyses have found innumerable issues with the device that it may not survive in its current form.
What else are you going to do on this Kindle, asked Andrew Rassweiler, a senior director at iSuppli. Nothing. It's a useless device unless you're planning on putting bucks, a lot of books, on it.
Yet, despite issues with the reading experience and overall user interface, there's no denying that the Kindle Fire has resonated with the public, especially with its moderate price tag. In the first five days of pre-order availability, Amazon sold 250,000 Kindle Fire pre-orders, an average of 50,000 units per day.
Kindle Fire is the most successful product we've ever launched, said Drew Herdener, a spokesperson for Amazon. We've already sold millions of units and we're building more to meet the strong demand.
Amazon has not released any official sales figures for any of its Kindle devices, but Best Buy recently announced that the Kindle Fire has dethroned Apple's iPad as the top-selling tablet at its retail stores. Researcher IHS iSuppli said Amazon quadrupled its Kindle sales on Black Friday this year, and believes Amazon will sell 3.9 million Kindle Fires by the end of December.
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