Hopefully today’s column will spur some healthy debate.

I personally would love to know why Amazon should be in the hardware business. Initially I thought the idea made a lot of sense. What I expected with the Kindle Fire tablet was that it would be the best possible implementation of software, hardware and Amazon’s retail services — both physical-retail and digital-media sales. However, the Kindle Fire was not a better tablet for doing any of those things. In fact in many cases, there are better devices than the Fire for consuming many of Amazon’s services.

(MORE: Margins and More: Who Can Actually Make Money from 7-In. Tablets?)

So if Amazon is not creating the best device for accessing and consuming its services, then why is Amazon in the hardware business? That is the question. Until Amazon shows me that it can make a piece of hardware that’s far…

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