Oct 24 AT 5:17 PM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

Competition heats up, Amazon Kindle Fire to become best selling Android tablet this year

Kindle Fire

Would it surprise you to learn that Amazon could have the best selling Android tablet by the end of the year? Several weeks ago a leak surfaced that suggested Amazon was racking up 50,000 pre-orders per day of their newly announced $199 Kindle Fire. It now appears those numbers were on target because both Digitimes and J.P. Morgan are predicting Amazon will ship around 5 million units in Q4.

Depending on your definition of an Android tablet, we believe there to be anywhere between 4 million to 6 million units sold so far. There hasn’t been a real Android tablet success story to date, and these numbers are the sum of hundreds of different devices. If Amazon can really meet the demand and move 5 million units this year, they would easily become the best selling Android tablet ever.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t exactly blown away by the Kindle Fire announcement and I wanted to see what Google had in store for Android 4.0, but I’m still an Amazon Prime customer and I wanted to experience the launch first hand, so I went ahead and pre-ordered one. Hey it’s my job, ya know?

Now when I survey the Android tablet market, I only see two devices that are relevant. We have the bargain-bin priced Kindle Fire at $199 and the ultra-performance Transformer Prime at $499.

When these two tablets hit the market in November, I no longer see anyone else being able to compete on price or end user experience. Once you start talking about the mid-range of Android tablets, everything will now be over-priced or under-powered.

If you are in the market for an Android tablet this Christmas, I’m curious which device you are leaning towards. Have you already pre-ordered the Kindle Fire? Waiting on the quad-core Transformer Prime? Already have a Honeycomb tablet and holding out for an update to Android 4.0? Or is there some other device that you think better meets your needs?

Source: Digitimes

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Sway_212

    Definitely waiting for the Transformer Prime! The device looked quite stunning and is sure to deliver some huge firepower!

    • AppleFUD

      Same here. I want something I can use for everything since most of what I do now is in the browser–I hope Chrome comes to Android very soon, then I’m set and good by Windows! The Android browser is lacking in a few areas.

      I wouldn’t mind a good 7 to 8″ tablet but it has to have the right design for portability.

      Thought about the BB PlayBook but RIM really seems to be all over the map, though that tablet does have a few killer features–Android would you PLEASE get “presentation mode” for videos and presentation so I can use my tablet while I pump out a movie to the HDTV?????

  • Cosmos

    I’m waiting for the Transformer Prime, and will purchase it as long as it: A) Launches with ICS or is promised a speedy upgrade to it. And B) Is stock Android or very close to (like the original Transformer). I was originally tempted to get a Galaxy Tab 10.1/8.9 but I’m not sold on TouchWiz on a tablet tbh. I really hope the Prime delivers!

    • ben dover

      asus has a great track record of updating the transformer quickly so look for their new products to get ics right away!

  • sylar

    Whoa that’s a lot of units sold already. I would like a tablet of some sort but I’m unwilling to shell out for something my phone can do.

  • ben dover

    I’m sure it’s going to be a great tablet. But having owned the nook color which I loved but sold for my transformer, I think I’ll stick with 10.1 tablets from here on out.

    • droiddewd

      I sold my NC too get the Transformer. It was a great beginner tab and used the heck out of it but now I am truly loving the TF. Just waiting patiently for ICS :O)

      • ben dover

        I picked up the NC to put honeycomb on it. just after my return period ended, we find out honeycomb wasn’t going to be open sourced.

        cm7 was great on it but I wanted honeycomb!

        love, love, love my transformer!
        it’ll get me through this wave of tablets so I can wait until jelly bean releases and a even better wave of tablets hit the market!

  • sap26

    I think saving up for the transformer is the best bet. You should be king of the hill with the first quad core tablet. At least for a couple months anyway. I’m very pleased with Asus being so competitive not just on quality but in their great pricing as well. It’s a no brainer, right?

  • johnd

    The fire and the Prime will be the best android tablets by far, and possible the best tablet devices period this year. Amazon’s huge content library and low price will drive the prime, and Asus’s design and performance will drive the prime. Also, judging by note app added to the og transformer and slide, Asus may be trying to market to college students which could explode I know I want the prime to take notes on. Good battery life and the ability to draw, Asus take my money now!!

  • Ran

    I think android tablets in there current state would explode in sales if the prices were less.
    More like 299 – 349 for 10 inches and 199 to 249 for 7 inches.

    I would love an android tablet but i just cant justify the current cost for the limited functionality of a tablet. The ONLY reason why the amazon tablet may do well is price.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      What about the huge existing Kindle user base and Amazon’s ever-expanding content library? But yes, price is the top factor when considering a tablet purchase right now.

  • ajavgeek

    Waiting for Samsung 8.9 Next generation

  • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane

    I’ve always said Android has to compete on price when it comes to tablets. Apple set the bar at $500 for a high-performance device.

    The most exciting thing about a “good enough” device at $199 is the pull down effect it will have on the price of higher end devices.

  • CTown

    It might not be the Motorola Xoom but it is a good replacement of a much more approachable tablet… the Nook Color!

  • http://klout.com/#/SliestDragon SliestDragon

    Still want the Transformer Prime myself. The Fire will definitely be a huge hit though. Good for Amazon.

  • Koolio

    It was the Kindle Fire for me, until I saw the Transformer Prime announcement!

  • Cvette83

    The more I see and read about the Kindle Fire, the more I want it. Price seems perfect for the content you’ll have access to. Will they be exclusively through Amazon.com or will there retailers that’ll have them available to play around with?

  • http://about.me/willfanguy Will F.

    I’ve been sold on the Kindle Fire since the announcement. I was in the market for a Kindle anyway, and all I really want is exactly what Amazon is marketing: a media consumption device. I’ve got a netbook for “portable computing”; if I can read my RSS feeds, watch Netflix, and read a book or two Kindle-style in the process, I’m set. Would I like to win a Transformer? Yes. Do I NEED one? Not exactly.

  • Brian Campbell

    I already have the Acer Iconia Tab a500, but now that I see the Transformer Prime, I think I’ll sell my Iconia to get the Prime. Now don’t get me wrong I want a Kindle Fire as well because I have a Kindle 3, but I really like the eink, but I really like the Fire, lol So many good devices coming out!!!!

  • slimx30

    waiting for the transformer prime. the kindle fire will be an awesome little tablet but the transformer is gonna be beast!

  • Out of th way

    Yawn*….Im kinda hyped by transformer but I’m still not getting ANY tablet until Google put Chrome browser out there for tablet.

  • aantoine87

    wow it only took for ever for someone to realize that next to the ipad ur tablet is garbage (this is what the world sees) so make something cheap enough that they are forced to which one is better, plus if it sucks it was 1/2 the price

    • aantoine87

      guess no one realized i was talking more so about the media how they always makes apple out to be the best i was no way implying that kindle is goin to suck lol

  • Los

    What happened to Amazon ridiculing Apple for iPad not being very visible in the sun? With that said, the Fire seems like the perfect device consumers concentrated on the consumption of content. I expect it to sell very during the holidays. I think it’s charm is how well skinned it is that you can barely tell that it is an Android device. Definitely speaks to the beauty of how customizable Android has become but also speaks to the reality that Honeycomb nor ICS are (or will be) what consumers want right now, sadly. For now, at least, tablets are still more or less the ultimate luxury as opposed to a necessity and sales figures will reflect that unless prices come down and Google themselves are able to prove that pure Android tablets can do for people what iPad can’t do, or else, we’re in another iPod market all over again and Android will be the Zune.

  • Dr.Carpy

    I’m thrilled for the arrival of the Asus. However, I’m intrigued by the the Amazon 10.1 device. The price should help the price of the 10.1 crowd come down a bit (fingers crossed). Hopefully, our man on the ground, Taylor will have some spicy rumors for us soon!

  • Sturoid

    I love Android and this Fire is going to absolutely explode, unfortunately all other Android tablets are still going to languish in the shadows of this and the iPad.
    Andy Rubin the other day said there were ’6 million Android tablets out there’ and looking at the numbers only about 3million are running Honeycomb and it’s been out for at least 6 months.

    The Fire will probably sell more before the end of the year than what regular Android tablets have sold this whole year and that is saying something. Apple will still surge cos they have rock solid hardware and a solid ecosystem that is building apps specific for that device and they have about 100k of them now.

    The reason both these companies can come in with relatively low cost tablets and have great specs is due to this.

    They have their own ecosystem.

    When apple sells you a phone or tablet you have to buy apps from their store which in turn they get 30% or something from so they are making money from every device.

    Amazon is going to have the exact same model, they are going to make a loss on the hardware which is no big deal to them cos you are going to buy your books, music, apps, and god knows what other items all through Amazon again making them like 30% on what ever you purchase.

    Now look at every Android tablet and phone manufacturer. When they sell you a device what money do they get from that device besides initial payment?

    This is the reason Android tablets are always going to be expensive and lets be honest if a tablet comes out that isn’t Amazon or Apple and has a low price point it is going to be crap.

    My hope is that Amazon will take ICS and update their OS which will let developers make apps for both platforms but you know what, I don’t see this happening.

    Also with how often you hear developers getting screwed by Amazon I’ll be interested how many go that way….maybe the lure of big sales numbers will be too much.

    • Steve Nutt

      Unfortunately true.

      The Google ecosystem is good, but it doesn’t directly benefit the manufacturers and if Google try to correct this, by using Motorola, we will probably see a full fracture of the mobile space, with everyone setting up their own little ecosystem, with device lock in, which would be BAD.

      The only question is how can we stop this? Is there a way for Google to some how subsidise manufacturers for using their ecosystem, so that tablets from everyone else using Android and having the full range of Google services can be cheaper, or is there another way?

  • zedthegreat


    • zedthegreat

      And yet amazon Prime is only US at the moment I believe. SO therefor it is the Transformer Prime for me as the Amazon Prime would be useless!

  • uknowme

    Transformer for me. The Fire is ok but it really doesn’t impress me. I’ve been fighting the urge to pick up there original Transformer.

  • http://www.craze4android.com/ samron

    To see the world in an android phone, and hold infinity in the palm of your hand. This is not just a dream. With Google android phone, you can easily grasp the world in your hands. Have an android phone, you have the whole world.

  • CaMiX

    I preordered a Fire for my wife and I plan on getting a Transformer Prime for myself as soon as they’re available.

  • Nathan

    I want the Transform Prime just because i want it for it power it has under the hood. =)

  • droiddewd

    I thought my wife might enjoy this tab but she is just opting for the Galaxy Player 5 instead. She is hoping to snatch one of those up by Christmas. I tried to convice she might like this better cause of a better screen etc but she’s not really sold on the whole tablet idea so I think that’s a good middle venue and Galaxy Player seems okay as a portable device. I’m just glad I can finally bring her into the Android fold. :0)

  • metafor

    If I did not already have a Kindle DX, I’d really consider a Fire. However, as is, I’m looking for a more high-end Android device. Perhaps the next Galaxy Tab 10 with a Tegra 3.

  • cb2000a

    I bought a new Acer Iconia at a really good price ($340) and like the tablet a lot. Now that it has Skype video and Netflix (although there is a problem with audio levels on the mic…software issues to be hopefully resolved). I bought a case with built in USB keyboard which works great with the tablet ($35).

  • pritams