Amazon says its Kindle Fire tablet is its most successful product ever, despite criticism from early users, promises to remedy problems with performance, navigation, will introduce improved version, probably in the spring

LOS ANGELES , December 14, 2011 () – Inc. is promising to remedy problems with its Kindle Fire tablet, although it says the device has been its most successful product ever, reported The New York Times on Dec. 11.

Early users of the Kindle Fire have criticized its many problems, such as the lack of external volume control, a long download time for Web pages, and a hesitant touch screen.

Failure of the Kindle Fire was projected by Jakob Nielsen, a usability expert with the Nielsen Group, a Silicon Valley consulting firm, in an interview.

Analysts have been estimating that three million to five million Kindle Fires will sell this quarter, the Times reported.

Although Amazon is not releasing any figures on Kindle Fire sales, it has said it is producing more of the devices to meet strong demand.

Amazon also is working to improve the device. Within two weeks, it will roll out a downloadable update for the Kindle Fire, said Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesperson. This will include better performance and multi-touch navigation, as well as an option to edit browsing history.

Meanwhile, a superior version of the Kindle Fire is in the works. Amazon is not saying when it will be ready, but it is likely to be in the spring, reported the Times.

Amazon is determined to make the device widely popular by making it affordable. At US$199 versus $500 for an iPad, “Amazon has a lot of air cover to have a B-level product,” said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray.

The device is crucial to Amazon’s future as a virtual store. The Seattle-based company is even willing to lose money on it because once it is sold, the consumer has to download books, movies and music from Amazon, the Times reported.

Amazon might be losing as much as $20 on its original Kindle, which is selling for $79, according to calculations by research firm IHS iSuppli.

The 7-inch Kindle Fire is not suited to Web browsing on sites intended for larger screens, but it does make shopping on Amazon easy, said Nielsen, adding that it might have been designed that way to “keep Fire users from shopping on competing sites,” reported the Times.

The primary source of this article is The New York Times, New York, New York, on Dec. 11, 2011.

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