Amazon's newly unveiled Kindle Fire seeks to create its own space in a tablet market largely defined by the iPad. The new Amazon device is interesting for many reasons, but we think that it may find a huge niche within the kids' market. Here's why:
The price point is a no-brainer. For a third of the iPad's price, you can put a tablet in your kid's hot little hands. Kids don't really need 3G, 4G or a camera, and while 8GB isn't a ton of on-device storage, the Wi-Fi and Cloud-based storage and applications are likely to meet a child's needs. Unlike the iPad, the Kindle Fire supports Adobe Flash Player, the cornerstone of countless kids' sites including Sesame Street, Nick Jr. and Disney. For parents who are trying to balance screen time and book time, we think it's interesting that this device is still first and foremost an e-reader, one that's out of the gate with a catalog of over 1,000 children's books available for purchase.
Ultimately, we want to see if third party developers embrace the Kindle Fire platform to produce a critical mass of quality applications. Until we see the kind of intelligently designed, thoughtful apps that have made the iPad so effective and intuitive for child's play and learning, we won't know the full scope of the device's potential for kids.