Amazon is Awesome
OK. Amazon? You rock. You rock hard.
Let me start off by saying that before today, Amazon was already pretty awesome. Before I continue, I just want to mention the announcement that Jeff Bezos posted on Amazon’s homepage last month, where he stated that Amazon has the highest customer satisfaction rate ever attained by a retailer:
“Amazon has been rated #1 in the National Retail Federation Customers’ Choice Awards, has been awarded the top spot in the MSN Money Customer Service Hall of Fame three years in a row, and is a JD Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion.”
“In addition, Amazon recently scored 86 – top score – on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), and 89 on the ForeSee customer satisfaction survey – the highest ever attained by a retailer.”
And you know what? I couldn’t imagine anyone else beating them in that regard. If I’ve ever had a problem with ANY purchase, they’ve always sent me a replacement and given me time to mail-back the original defective product, instead of waiting for me to mail it back first. They also usually give you an account credit whenever you encounter any sort of problems. They’re awesome.
But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the announcements that were made today at Amazon’s Kindle event.
At the event, Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos announced a refreshed Kindle line-up. Not only that, but Amazon has slashed some prices, too! Every new Kindle announced comes with a high-res screen–each one above 200ppi. The Kindle Fire HD has a 254ppi display, and as a reference, the iPad 3 has a 264ppi display–this means that the new Kindle Fire’s look incredible. Now, I’m a Nexus 7 guy myself, and I wouldn’t trade it for their new $159, $200, or $299 models any day of the week because I love what it offers. But for the price, the Kindle Fire is astounding.
The $159 model is a revamped version of last years model; it’s the same except it has twice the ram, a 40% faster processor, and a longer battery life. Oh, and it’s $41 cheaper. The $200 model is the Kindle Fire HD, which has that super high-res display I was talking about, with 16GB of storage. Both of these are 7″ devices; however, Amazon is also releasing a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ that comes with a 1920×1200 HD display. Additionally, each Kindle Fire HD has improved glare reduction, which–in relation to the iPad 3–reduces glare by 25%.
But Amazon didn’t stop there; they have 2 antennas in each device now which offers faster Wi-Fi speed by cutting down on signal interference, and it’s also the first tablet in the world to feature MIMI, which apparently makes Wi-Fi signals much easier for the device to grab. The result of this is that it has faster Wi-Fi speeds than any other tablet, including the iPad 3. They’ve also upped the storage space to 16GB, and they still provide free cloud storage to all Kindle users. There are far more improvements that have been made to the Kindle Fire, some of which can be read about here.
Did I mention that for $50 / year Amazon will give you a 4G connection with 250MB per month, 20GB of extra Cloud Storage, and a $10 Amazon Appstore credit? Yeah, they’re doing that.
The Kindle Fire isn’t the only Kindle getting a refresh though; Amazon has created the first ever Paperwhite display for their original Kindle line, which offers a 212ppi screen, and a battery that lasts 8 weeks with the screen turned on. That’s a long time to go without charging! At 9.5mm and 7.5 ounces, it’s “thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback.” The Kindle Paperwhite goes for $119, with a 3G version going for $179.
Their “smallest, lightest Kindle” has been updated “with improved fonts and 15% faster page turns,” and it now starts at $69; $10 off the original $79 price-point. High quality products with a low price tag are the best. And Amazon seems to be the best at doing it.
Last but not least, I want to mention Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, which allows authors to publish their books “in mere hours.” Authors publish their books for free, keep their copyrights, distribute globally, and receive royalties of 70%. Why is this amazing? Because there are a ton of good books out there that go unpublished because nobody will publish them. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo suffered from this problem, and look where it is now. Of the top 100 books available on Kindle, 27 of them are from the Kindle Direct Publishing program. I’m so glad there are companies out there like Amazon that are helping to improve everyone’s experiences. From customer satisfaction to helping authors get published for free, they really seem like a company built with the very best of intentions in mind.
My hat’s off to you Amazon. Keep it up!