Amazon recently chose to run an ad comparing the Kindle Fire HD to its iPad Mini competition. Specifically, this ad called out the inferior display that Apple has decided to include in its new $329 tablet. We can’t necessarily expect even-handedness in advertising comparisons, especially in situations like this where the new device is clearly meant to come across as a high-end alternative to an established product. Even so, it’s startling that Amazon thought they could get away with telling blatant lies about the iPad Mini to improve their business!
The ad in question can be seen on the right. It has since been pulled from Amazon.com in response to the outpouring of hate over internet injustice. The points are fairly easy to follow. The Kindle has a better display, better sound, and better wireless connectivity. Problems have been found with all of these assertions.
First, there is the issue of the screen. It’s true that the Kindle has more pixel density than the iPad Mini. Nobody is disputing that. It’s also true that it runs at a higher resolution. Amazon’s claim that the iPad lacks HD movies and TV or that there solution is too low for HD are obviously half-truths, though!
Ok, that complaint is almost half-true at best. It has been coming up a lot, though. The iPad Mini will have access to HD content. It will be able to play that content. It will NOT be able to display that HD content in a way that properly highlights its quality. The minimum accepted standard for something to be referred to as “HD” is 720p. The Mini’s 1024 x 768 resolution meets the 720 vertical requirement, but the 16:9 aspect ratio for HD playback quality is impossible without at least a 1280 x 720 resolution. In other words, there will be HD content but the only way to view it in HD will be to output to an external display using adapters and devices sold separately.
Lacking that support, many complaints fall back on the sound comparison. This is troubling for Amazon since Apple has clarified recently that their new tablet has stereo sound. Before this clarification, which came well after the ad we’re looking at was released, Apple was still listing the iPad Mini as having a “Built in Speaker”. When that’s the description in the product specs, it’s hard to complain about people believing it. It’s hardly something Amazon needs to be making things up to support, either. The Kindle Fire HD has been reviewed across the board as having the best sound playback out of any tablet on the market today including the full size iPad.
All that leaves us with is the WiFi. Is Amazon overstating the importance of MIMO? For some customers whose use will regularly involve strong signals and fast transfer rates, maybe. It’s hard to see that as being the major deciding factor for anybody, though, and it is still something that the Mini lacks.
Did Amazon choose their comparison points selectively to highlight the Kindle Fire HD? Of course. It isn’t particularly hard to find points of comparison that could pull that off, though. The amount of response this ad has received is ridiculous.