Kindle Fire vs Apple iPad Reviews

Kindle Fire Reviews – All happy Kindle Fire customers, to paraphrase Tolstoy, are the same. Unhappy customers, however, are unhappy in their own way.

To get a feel for what makes them unhappy — and how unhappy they are — we spent some time Saturday morning reading the Kindle Fire feedback on Amazon.com.

There were 3,678 write-ups in all, nearly half of them (47%) glowing five-star reviews that basically said the same thing (Typical headline: “Outstanding value at $199”).

What interested us, however, were the 491 (13.3%) one-star reviews. They are relevant because the number of Kindle Fires being returned to the store is likely to be an undisclosed material factor in Amazon’s results this quarter.

Unlike Apple, which reports unit sales to the SEC every three months, Amazon has never told investors how many Kindles it has sold. The best we have are guesses, like the estimate released Friday by IHS iSuppli that Amazon will ship 3.9 million Kindle Fires this quarter compared with 18.6 million Apple iPads.

The satisfaction ratings for iPads, however, are off the charts. The Kindle Fire? Not so much.

Eight of these 10 customers stated explicitly that they were returning their Kindle Fires, and a ninth sounded like he already had.

Using 90% of the 13.3% one-star reviews as rough measure, this suggests that nearly half a million of the estimated 3.9 million Kindles to be shipped this quarter will be returned.

How do the iPad reviews compare? Amazon doesn’t promote the iPad like it does the Kindle, and it only sells it through third party vendors. But of the 475 iPad 2 reviews posted on Amazon.com, more than 60% gave it five stars and only 7.2% gave it one star.

A couple of disappointed customers had to return defective devices, but only one asked for his money back. He was upset because he couldn’t charge the device using USB port on his (old) Windows laptop.