It's barely less than three months since its official launch and the Kindle Fire is already drawing flak from irate users. Customer grievances include a lack of privacy and poor loading times for Web pages. Complaints were made against the Amazon tablet's hardware as well. A lack of external volume controls and an unresponsive touch-screen were among them, according to The New York Times report.
These findings were similarly validated by "usability guru", Jakob Nielsen, who also went on to state that the Fire's user experience was "disappointingly poor". Essentially, Nielsen's main gripes lie with the Fire's tiny 7-inch screen estate and equally tiny UI elements. More importantly, he claimed he can't recommend the tablet, and hammered in the final nail by saying that "the device is going to be a failure".
"The most striking observation from testing the Fire is that everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation. You haven't seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you've watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire. One poor guy spent several minutes trying to log in to Facebook, but was repeatedly foiled by accidentally touching the wrong field or button", asserts the supposed guru. You may read a more detailed account of his findings here.
While Amazon may be retailing the Fire at a marginal loss, the online retailer's game plan is a simple one. Instead of perceiving the tablet as a standalone device, Amazon regards it more like an extension of its storefront. If you purchase a Kindle, chances are you're also likely to buy ebooks, music and movies from Amazon. These proceeds would help offset any losses sustained by money lost on the Kindle Fire. However, Amazon would find it hard to recoup their losses if no one is snapping up their tablets to begin with.
To address users' complaints, Amazon has promised an over-the-air update for the Kindle Fire before the year is over. This should, in part, address some of the software concerns at least. The update is said to improve the device's performance and touch interaction, although the extent to which the update will address other known issues is yet unknown.