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iPad Air vs Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX looks different on paper than on TV

Amazon says its Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX is “twenty percent lighter than the iPad Air.” This is a factually correct statement. But it’s also a lie, and Amazon knows it. Why? The two tablets being compared in the ad, the iPad Air vs the Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, are of two different sizes. In fact the Fire has a screen that’s twenty-seven percent smaller, meaning that at twenty percent lighter it’s actually heavier-per-screen-inch than the iPad Air. So why does Amazon get away with this?

Two reasons. First, it can hide behind technicalities. Because most people watching this ad have no idea of the size of the Fire, Amazon knows that by placing it next to an iPad Air it can cause viewers to mistakenly assume that they’re the same size. Then point out that it’s 20% lighter and $120 cheaper, and Amazon creates the illusion that the iPad Air is just an overpriced and pointlessly heavy device. Because Amazon never actually falsely states that the two are the same size, it’s not the kind of lie that the FCC would get involved with. But it’s still a lie.

The second reason is this: almost no one among the tech media will bother calling Amazon out on this lie, because most tech journalists despise Apple. In their minds, Apple makes products for the mainstream at the expense of the geeks, and so the geeks (and by extension tech journalists) mostly see Apple as an enemy threatening their way of life. It’s why they cling to geekier platform like Android, no matter how junky or far behind it might be. Most tech writers are cheering on ads like the one from Amazon, even though they know it’s a lie, because they’re that eager for anything that makes Apple look bad.

Don’t believe me? Imagine if Apple positioned its 7.9 inch iPad mini against the 8.9 inch Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX and pointed out that the iPad mini is lighter and cheaper without mentioning that it’s also smaller. Every tech headline across the internet would accuse Apple of false advertising. In the the media, the double standard against Apple is the only standard.

11 comments
LDBetaGuy
LDBetaGuy

If I may continue the nit picking, the ad also shows the words "Kindle Fire HDX 8.9", thus, I believe, showing viewers the actual size of the HDX screen. True, the ad does not say that the iPad Air's screen is the larger 9.7" size. Could we assume, though, that many folks  would do enough comparison research before making a tablet purchase to find out that the screens are different sizes? Many folks, I believe, are willing to give up some screen real estate for a tablet that is lighter weight and easier to hold.

Jacque
Jacque

I find this website hilariously biased. You accuse tech journalists of bashing Apple products when the majority of what is out there is gushing praise for Apple no matter if all they do is improve one thing and then ask people to dump their old device for the new one with a new feature or two. This site wreaks of filthy Apple fanboyism.


I like how you make up blatant lies about Samsung being worse than Apple despite plenty of evidence otherwise. Sad how the fanboys become desperate to defend their precious overpriced products when they're being replaced by better, more open hardware that actually adapts to the consumer demand instead of telling the consumer what they want a la Apple style.

LeFrancoy
LeFrancoy

In Canada we have regulations that prevent advertisers to use trademarks and intellectual property that are not owned or licensed by the client. So we never see these kind of ads up north. And having seen this particular ad, I came to a similar conclusion as yours. Maybe it would be a good thing to have that regulation imported stateside ;¬)

Brian
Brian

This commercial ticks me off so much. Such a deliberate attempt to mislead. It just seems unreal that ads like these can be aired.

J Paul Kirkel
J Paul Kirkel

I really like what you're doing in this column--calling out Amazon for a deliberate misrepresentation, an outrageously improper comparison, and a willful misleading of the consuming public.

But calling what their claim a "lie" is simply false! You even admit as much when you state that their claim of 20% lighter is factually accurate-- if so, it's not a lie. You're being almost as bad as they are by mis-characterizing what they've done! What you've written could even be libel...

By the way, my iPad mini is much lighter than a Mercedes Benz!

Bill Palmer
Bill Palmer

@J Paul Kirkel Amazon is using it ad to purposely pretend that the iPad Air and the Fire HDX are the same size. It's a lie of omission.

MelGross
MelGross

It is a lie. The intent to mislead, when misrepresenting the facts is a lie. By not pointing out that their tablet is much smaller in area, they are eliminating the very thing that would let consumers know the truth.

So their Ads are lies. I mentioned this to my wife the first time I saw these Ads.

Its a shame that companies don't have enough confidence in their products that they feel they must mislead the public in order to garner sales.

Mr Semantic
Mr Semantic

@J Paul Kirkel  It is important that we use words correctly. The definition of lie (verb) is: tell an untruthtell a liefibdissembledissimulatemisinformmisleadtell a white lieperjure oneselfcommit perjuryprevaricateinformal lie through one's teethstretch the truth. As you see, the definition includes misinform, mislead. A 'lie' is usually assumed to mean a deliberate act. Is that not the case with Amazon?

Catalysttgj
Catalysttgj

It's amazing that there are people who don't actually understand that there are different kinds of lies, but this might explain why America has crap advertisement on all day long getting away with this BS. Amazon has managed to stoop to infomercial level for their kindle product. I don't use amazon much, but this sort of thing is going to make me carefully reconsider using them at all for anything.

Considering amazon's explosive growth, I'm beginning to see Amazon is really nothing more than the latest variation of Walmart... The online rendition!

J Paul Kirkel
J Paul Kirkel

@Mr Semantic @J Paul Kirkel  Actually, you're wrong!


You need to get a new dictionary! :-)


A lie is an "intentionally false statement".


Even if some definition omits the intentional part, what Amazon said is NOT a false statement!

J Paul Kirkel
J Paul Kirkel

@Catalysttgj  To others in the comment thread, too…


It's important that we do not let the language degrade… and to be sure that our outrage over what Amazon does or states is described properly.


If you start labeling most everything that is misleading a lie, pretty soon the word "lie" loses its meaning.


Note:  You also need to read more carefully… I wrote this:


"I really like what you're doing in this column--calling out Amazon for a deliberate misrepresentation, an outrageously improper comparison, and a willful misleading of the consuming public."


You all are so intent on calling others a liar --"Liar, liar, pants on fire" --that you end up misreading what others are writing.


Let's call it deceitful, shameful, deliberately misleading, and a campaign of misinformation--those are far more descriptive phrases with much greater weight than a misuse of "lie" which most others will rightly dismiss out of hand (along with you all).


It's an odd universe when someone--even a greedy corporation or vote-grubbing politician--makes a true statement, an accurate statement, and that is labeled as a "lie".