Sparking a Fire in the Enterprise?

I know everyone is thinking movies, games, and music as they read all about the new family of Kindle Fire HD tablets announced this week, but I am thinking enterprise.

Not sure if I am a lone wolf here, but given all the buzz around tablets being suited for both work and play, much attention often goes to the play aspect over the work. And if the Kindle Fire HD is going to compete with the iPad, and with a $499 32GB 4G/LTE version that is certainly seems that way, I think we should discuss how the device will play in both rings. After all, as Amazon itself states, its first generation, which was announced last year at this time, has captured roughly 22% of the tablet market. Given the high percentage of iPad users today, 22% is not too shabby.

So how then does Amazon capture more of the market? It needs to be with that hybrid user—the business and the consumer. Devices like Google’s Nexus 7 scream consumer to me, whereas the forthcoming Microsoft Surface tablets seem more tailored to the business user. Sure, both can apply to either market but in order to catapult to that next plateau I think the message needs to hit both audiences.

And that might be hard to do with the name Amazon, seeing as the brand is most commonly associated with the consumer world due in part to its roots, not to mention its wildly successful line of ereaders. Still, give enough great features and functionality and the lines between consumer and business start to blur. Just ask Apple, which probably didn’t initially envision the iPad being used on construction jobsites, in hospitals, and on other work-related tasks when it debuted the device in 2010.

Here is a cool feature of the Kindle Fire HD that stands out to me: It will automatically switch between the 2.4 GHz network and the 5 GHz network, which will alleviate slower connections over Wi-Fi, as the 5 GHz is less congested. Dual antennas and MIMO (Multiple In/Multiple Out) are also featured, which should result in higher bandwidth and longer range.

In any case, the tablet discussions are once again heating up. If anyone can challenge Apple it sure seems like Jeff Bezos. Of course the apps will be a major piece to how this will all shake out. I am sure Amazon is encouraging it developers on all fronts, and perhaps we could see an increase in enterprise-based apps for Kindle Fire. Competitive times look to be ahead.

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