Amazon looks set to position Kindle Fire as a tablet for business

by David Needle

July 26 2012

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shows off the Kindle Fire; new models may target business customers.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shows off the Kindle Fire; new models may target business customers.

A recent Amazon help wanted ad indicates the ecommerce giant is ready to push the Kindle Fire far beyond its initial target as a media consumption device for consumers.

The job posting for a Kindle Strategic Account Manager says the candidate “...will find, qualify, contract and support strategic customers within education, government, and business market segments.

"He/she will serve as a key member of the Kindle Enterprise team in helping to define and deliver the overall Kindle strategy and drive adoption of Kindle.”

This comes as Amazon is rumored to be planning to release an updated model of the 7-inch Kindle Fire as well as a bigger model with a 10-inch display later this year. It's fair to assume Amazon plans to position the bigger display model more directly at the iPad as both a content consumption and creation device. 

Several bullet points in the job description also indicate Amazon plans to target business customers, such as: 

  • Managing successful deployments of Kindle programs with strategic customers
  • Supporting strategic customers after deployment
  • Gathering information and contributing to the development of case studiesAbility to work with both technical and non-technical business owners is required

Amazon could not be reached for a comment by press time. 

What can a Kindle Fire do for business?

Analyst Jack Gold notes that while Amazon is generally known as a consumer company, it has a ton of enterprise expertise managing its own operations and the various cloud services it offers to business and developers. 

“Amazon already helps government agencies and other organizations publish their manuals and huge volumes of documentation,” says Gold, principal analyst of J.Gold Associates. “Why not put all that stuff on a Kindle Fire and Amazon will help them manage it in the cloud.

“The airlines are buying iPads for the cockpit, but you could put that documentation on a Kindle Fire for a lot less money,” he added.

Gold thinks Amazon could go after business customers with both 7- and 10-inch models depending on the use case. The lower end Kindle Fire pre-loaded with all the owners manual information complete with some video files would, for example, be a nice perk a luxury car marker could include with each model. 

“Or think about a company like General Electric selling $2 million MRI machine,” says Gold.

“Today maybe you get the manual on a CD, but from a cost perspective, why not include a couple of Kindle Fires with all that information included with updates readily available? That’s not a lot of volume for Amazon, but you get enough of those customers, it starts to add up.”

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