Kindle Fire HD (2013) - Strategic naming error? Middling reviews and multiple changes to product page
I've been researching the Kindle Fire HD (2013 version) since my 1st Gen Kindle Fire's charging port started failing (don't get me started...) and I've noticed that Amazon has made many changes to the product's page. It has also gotten some pretty low review scores on Amazon, especially compared to the previous Kindle Fire products, which all scored higher than 4.0.
There are many grumbles, both in the reviews and in the forums, about the fact that the new Fire HD is really a downgrade for last year's Fire HD. No camera is the biggest complaint, plus no microphone, HDMI, etc. At first I was excited that the $139 model would have the ability to do Skype (like last year's HD), but without the camera and mic, it can't.
Some subtle, but critical changes have been made to the Kindle Fire HD product page:
- Originally, the product page included pictures that clearly showed a camera, even though the new 2013 version does not have a camera. Only more recently did they add captions on the images to specify that they were showing the Kindle Fire HDX. not the new HD.
- They've changed the title to read "All-New Kindle Fire 7" Tablet, Now in HD" instead of "All-New Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet"
- They now have a "We want you to know...Learn more about design decisions and feature changes to help make an informed purchase" blurb right at the top of the page. Here they really push the idea that this device is the successor to the Kindle Fire 7", not last year's Kindle Fire HD 7".
It seems like they made a strategic error in naming this device the Kindle Fire HD and are getting understandably skewered by users/reviewers as a result. They seem to be doing an awful lot of backpedaling on this product's page.
Going back and reading the coverage from The Verge and elsewhere when Bezos showed off the new HDX, it really seemed like the press was also somewhat duped into thinking that the new HD was just a cheaper redesign of the original HD, rather than a slightly better, cheaper version of the basic Fire.
I doubt that we'll get a review of the 2013 Kindle Fire HD here on The Verge, since The Verge seems to mainly review only flagship devices these days, but I wondered if anyone else from The Verge community had noticed these changes or if anyone has purchased one of the new Fire HD's and has any opinions about it. If only Amazon would make an Amazon Instant Video app for Android, then we could all just get Nexus 7s and be happy....