The Amazon Kindle Fire is almost upon us, and all signs point to it being a tremendous success. Based on pre-sales and projected holiday demand, it looks like the Kindle Fire will be the first Android(ish) tablet to become a mass-market hit. One thing that adds value and sets the Kindle Fire apart from rival tablets is Amazon Prime.
Aside from the Amazon brand itself, and a $200 price tag, there is one key element the Kindle Fire has that no other tablet has--Amazon Prime. Content is king, and with a Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime consumers will have instant, streaming access to tons of it.
Amazon Prime membership costs $79 per year. For that $79, you get access to a library of thousands of movies and TV shows. Amazon also recently introduced the Kindle Lending Library--a service that lets Amazon Prime members borrow a book for up to a month from a collection of more than 5,000 titles. That means that with Amazon Prime, a Kindle Fire, and a Wi-Fi connection you will have access to virtually endless content.
Membership also gets you "free" two-day shipping, or discounted overnight shipping of $3.99 per item. On the one hand, having already spent the $79 up front gives Amazon customers incentive to shop at Amazon to make sure they get enough "free" shipping to make it worth it. On the other hand, knowing that you can buy just about anything with a few swipes, taps, or clicks, and have it delivered to your front door in only two days for "free" is awesome.
The Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime form a symbiotic partnership that is good for Amazon, and for Kindle Fire owners. Amazon gets a loyal base of customers who have incentive to visit the site and purchase goods, and members get discounted shipping, and access to tons of free content for their shiny new tablet. Seems like a win-win.
If you add the $79 for Amazon Prime with the $200 for the Kindle Fire, it comes out a little higher than the competing Nook tablet, but still cheaper than any other noteworthy tablet on the market, and comes with a vast built-in library of "free" (since you already paid for it with Amazon Prime membership) content.
All in all, Amazon Prime makes the Kindle Fire a more compelling tablet, and the Kindle Fire makes Amazon Prime membership seem like an even greater value. If you haven't been an Amazon Prime member any time in the last 13 months, you're eligible for a one-month free trial. Give it a spin and see if it seems like $79 a year worth of value to you.