Dec 05 AT 4:31 PM Dustin Earley 64 Comments

Amazon predicted to own half of Android tablet market by next year

Kindle Fire

For the past week now, sales numbers and estimates have been coming out of the woodwork that show the Kindle Fire dominating holiday sales. The Kindle Fire was the best selling device on Amazon for Black Friday, and the tablet also bested the iPad 2 at both Target and Best Buy. And this is only the beginning.

According to a note from Evercore Partners analyst Robert Cihra, Amazon is well on the way to capturing half of the entire Android tablet market by next year. With the continued success of the Kindle Fire, and some Fire variations in the works, Cihra says “Amazon’s success may just vaporize other ‘for profit’ Android tablet OEM roadmaps,” leaving Apple as the only real competitor to the online retailer.

While this time may still be a ways off, it’s a very real possibility that should have Android manufacturers reevaluating their tablet strategies. Of course right now, a tablet like the Transformer Prime is the way to go if you want Android and need a certain degree of power and functionality that the Kindle Fire doesn’t offer. But the release of a 10.1-inch Fire might take that advantage away from ASUS and other similar manufacturers.

What do you think? If Amazon released a 10.1-inch tablet that offered similar specs and capabilities as something like the Prime for around $300, would you buy one? I know I would. For that kind of price you really couldn’t go wrong, and I’m sure millions would agree.

Source: CNN Money

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • Varemenos

    LOL nope. unless we are talking about official devices using android and Touchpads for example.

    • kevin charliethesuperturtle

      Toothpaste not touchpad….

  • ranwanimator

    I kind of take issue with this since the Fire is a glorified e-reader. It’s missing so much functionality that I don’t even see it in the same class as an iPad or Transformer Prime. I blame the marketers and their insidious perpetual “spinning” of the truth.

    • erikiksaz

      I wonder how pissed off Fire users will be when/if they release their full-sized tablet.

      I’d be a bit grumpy.

      • stenzor

        A vast majority of them probably won’t even realize it… and half of them won’t even know a new one came out

    • Futureboy

      The Fire wasn’t being directly compared to the Prime. The point is that if Amazon takes the business model of the Fire and builds a high-end tablet with comparable specs to tablets like the Prime, and sells it at or below cost, it could certainly have a huge impact on the rest of the market.

    • jdawg334

      I’m sure Amazon’s Kindle Fire will soon, if it doesn’t already, have the ability to be very comparable to the Ipad (minus the camera) with cyanogen. Of course not every owner wants to risk bricking their Kindle but it would unlock it and make it a fully functional tablet for more adventurous people. They can even download Nook books once they do that just like you can unlock the Nook color now with Cyanogen.

      • lindusha

        You can load the Nook books now on the Fire.

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      It’s a Cortex-A9 tablet for $199… and it can do anything any other Android tablet can do short of play some of the very highest-end games, for a fraction of the price. What do you want?

      If you want an e-reader, buy the vanilla Kindle or an E-ink equivalent.

      • ncb1010

        It can’t take pictures, record audio, connect to peripherals over bluetooth, store more than 8 GBs of files, connect to an external display, use an SD card, etc.

  • Oscar Ortega

    i Want fire power in my tablet, ones that have a huge beautiful screen and lots of storage and something that i’m able to throw at someone!! lol

  • Simon Sebastian

    cyanogenmod predicted to own half of the half of the android tablet market by CM9forKindle release

    • Alex

      That would be the coolest Android news story of the year. Bar none.

  • kazahani

    Amazon definately has the right idea with the Fire. A 10.1 tablet priced $200 below the ipad would be sensational for us poor folk.

  • stenzor

    I don’t think this will happen, but hey, as long as it’s not Apple

    • WarDrake

      Agreed on both counts

    • AndroidJunkie

      So if amazon is expecting 5 million kindle fire tablets by the end of the year, that’d mean they are expecting no more than 2.5 million non kindle fire android tablets sold by the end of th year. but in October that number was just a little over a million. so if anything, i’m betting the kindle will a higher percentage, more like 60-80% of the android tablet market by the end of the year.

  • EwanRGR

    Depends on what corners they cut. I presume they would leave out the SD card slot again as a way to keep this a somewhat closed, web-centric tablet. So unless the on board storage was significantly higher, I doubt that dropping the price would be enough to change my plans of someday getting a prime.

    Note, I did by a Fire for my wife since the main things she uses a tablet for is what Amazon excels at – Books and other media consumption.

  • Toonshorty

    Unless they get their act together and launch their services in places other than the US then I can’t see them getting half the market at all, not the global one anyway.

  • Aaron Kemp

    Not a fan of the Fire as it doesn’t have the full Android experience. The Asus Prime looks like a beast and I am looking forward to test playing one in a shop soon, Tegra 3 a go go.

  • PapaLos

    I’ve said it before: If Amazon launches a 10 incher with more memory and/or memory slot, and release it at a reasonable price like they did the Fire.. then they win. Everyone else should just stop.

    I don’t understand why these tablet manufacturers don’t get it.. If they put a tablet at a decent, affordable price point. People will line up by the hundreds to buy them. If the Fire was over $300, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I can’t help but feel the $200 price is the reason why the sales are on, well, fire.

    • Alex

      Exactly. At this point, tablets cannot truly compete with their cheaper and more practical laptop alternatives, and so a smaller, cheaper tablet that works well and is not really meant to be a computing beast will sell better in todays market.

  • eioous

    I’m attributing to those high #’s.

  • mavensage

    I want a Kindle Fire. I just don’t want this model. It seems cheaply made. I may get the next version.

  • Kevin Amundson

    If Amazon releases a 10 inch tablet with suitable specs at a good price like they have done with the Kindle Fire then they will be in the best strategic place in the market. The other manufactures don’t have the customer base of Amazon to reach that many customers.

    I would buy a 10 inch tablet if it had an SD card slot. without that I’m not interested because I would not be using the devise as an e-reader.

  • seven2k

    If the price is right people will come. Hopefully the other companies take notice and get better pricing.

    • Bryan Stoner

      You’ve gotta be kidding. Asus has been doing it right since the Transformer’s release. Other companies have done the same just have been cut short by a few things here and there.

  • Steve Bornstein

    The Fire is so dirt cheap because Amazon is banking on people using its services through it to make money. That’s something Asus, Motorola, and the other Android tablet makers don’t have. The flip side to that is, you’re stuck with a tablet that’s missing half of the hardware functionality it could have.

    There’s no doubt that Amazon is designing larger Fire-like tablets. If it ends up being a Fire but with a bigger screen, I don’t know if that’s going to be enough for them to corner the Android tablet market. But if they want to add hardware that other large tablets have like microSD slots and the like, then that opens them up to not making as much money as they do on Fire. Once you give people ways other than Amazon to get content onto their tablet, that’s less income in Amazon’s pocket and I’m not sure Amazon’s willing to let go of a guaranteed cash flow like that.

  • tequilya

    I’m surprised how much I liked the 7″ form factor for reading articles on the web and such with the Fire or even Nook color. I’ve got a 10″ tablet and it often seems cumbersome for casual reading around the house.

    Add in the likelihood that the Fire will soon be hacked into a full Android experience and I don’t see a down side.

  • Bryan Stoner

    I would take the Transformer Prime over the Kindle Fire any day. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful experience with the Kindle Fire kiosk. It’s really no surprise it’s projected to earn half the android market. But 200$ more for several more ports, better screen, better performance, better battery life, more internal memory, a more grass roots Android experience, and the ability to add a dock, the Transformer is a steal.

    On the other hand I am really considering purchasing the Kindle Fire for my parents for Christmas. I’m sure they would love it~ XD

  • auronblue

    Unless you are an Apple fan or can justify needing the specs of a high-end tablet, the price points are the biggest hurdle to entry. I don’t want a carrier subsidized version and i don’t want to spend $500+. I already have a netbook and a smartphone. For me to justify buying a tablet it needs to offer a certain amount of functionality at a reasonable price. I think most consumers in my shoes are going to gravitate more towards the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet because they have a decent balance of features at an attractive price. Offer me a Prime-spec tablet at a sub-$300 price point and I’d be all over it.

  • AndroidCowboy

    That would absolutely kill everybody else. I know people who like the Kindle Fire but haven’t purchased because they think the 10 inch is coming next year. They will dominate most of the market with a 7 and 10 inch at low cost.

  • SCJaredJ

    To answer the question….if Amazon released a similarly specked 10.1 tablet to the Transformer Prime for ~$300…yes, I’d buy it …. if it came out about the same time and not a year or two later. But it’ll never happen. Amazon’s products are too e-reader specific (as they’re supposed to be) and they’ll probably always be missing some of the functionality that a true ipad/transformer competitor needs.

  • sylar

    If they came out with an actual android tablet then yes I would buy one. But i don’t thing that it will ever happen.

  • kevin charliethesuperturtle

    I would ONLY if it wasn’t missing any features and is equal to the prime
    I need Bluetooth Tegra 3, etc

  • zyphbear

    I don’t think I agree with this though, there have been many people that are getting ‘fire regret’ after getting it, some returning the device and some keeping it, but not really using it. I know when I played with one on Display at Target, there was a lot of doubt in my mind if it would really do what I wanted with the device. They even had a graphic novel loaded on the device and it didn’t look very good. I was disappointed. I may be leaning toward a ten inch tablet instead now.

  • Louis Atu

    I hope they make their 10″ affordable like the kindle fire.

  • Matic Krmec

    No way I would buy a Kindle … Transformer Prime is much much better.

  • FutureShock

    I can see this happening. Amazon is more wiling to sell hardware at or below cost in order to get customers into their ecosystem.

    While I don’t find the specs on the Fire appealing, if Amazon decided to release a full-fledged tablet comparable to the Prime or other high end tablet at $299, I would definitely pick one up.

  • akareem89

    I really dont consider the Fire an Android tablet

  • humidity

    Hopefully this will drive competitor prices down to compete!

    • GUI_Center

      My thoughts exactly!

  • myandroid99

    i returned mine

  • Marlon Rompis

    I would definitely buy one. A 10-in tablet for $300 would drive down competitor’s prices and good for us buyers.

  • phaet2112

    Majority are buying it for simple product consumption, so most wont care too much- “tablets are a bit laggy because that is the way they are” or “its not an ipad so I didn’t expect it to work like one”. Not that any of it is true, just the perception.

  • Danny Calderon

    If they can get a 16Gb 10.1 inch screen with a camera at 299 or 350 I would buy one, the original ipad didn’t need a camera or sd slot to sell, and it still doesn’t have expandable memory, the argument of its doesn’t have the real android experience is a stupid one, the whole customizing thing gets tiring after a while, and with the closed design running on millions of kindle fires we will have more accessories like on the ipad

    • jimtravis

      I have a slightly different opinion while respecting your opinion. For me, the Android experience is not just the ability to customize (although I do like that feature), but also the full Google experience. I use Google Calendar / Contacts, and the Android Market all of which are not available on the Fire at least as it is delivered out of the box. I have rooted, used custom ROM’s on other devices, but it is nice to have the full Android / Google experience out of the box like you get with the Prime, Xoom, Galaxy etc.

      I do have the Fire, and it has a nice form factor / UI skin; however, I find myself frequently picking up one of my other tablets to accomplish a task the Fire cannot at least without modifying the as delivered configuration.

      In answer to the question about buying a 10″ Fire, probably not since I already have 10″ tablets that perform tasks out of the box that the Fire needs to be modified to accomplish, and have pre-ordered the Prime Assuming the 10″ Fire had the same restrictions as the 7″ Fire, it would be too restricted for my needs. If I did not use the full Google experience, then a $300 or so Fire would be enticing particularly for those users who are tied into the Amazon ecosystem.

      • jimtravis

        Sorry, missed a period between Prime, and Assuming in the last paragraph. Is there a way to edit your comments?

    • jimtravis

      The original iPad sold well, but it was also extensively advertised in the mainstream media. There were (still are for the 2) many network TV commericals, stand alone illuminated kiosks ads, subway advertising, and an episode of Modern Family dedicated to the iPad’s release. At the time, Windows,and Android tablets were barely advertised in the mainstream media.

      Add in the halo effect from the iPod / iPhone, the constant mention on newscasts whenever Apple introduces a new product, and you have a marketing juggernaut.

  • Nathan D.

    well it possible if they keep making cheap tablet with decent specs then sure or even bump up the spec and still sell it cheap that will get people going =)

  • cheeseasaurus

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon take more than half the market, if you can convince everyone owning an earlier kindle that it’s the next upgrade… then the market is there’s, and the market grows. I don’t think they’re convincing many people who would otherwise by a different tablet, just those who wouldn’t by one at all (because they can’t justify a tablet, or just want an ereader).

    I’d be interested in seeing something like a more capable tablet from Amazon, but I’d like to see a more vanilla android experience that we’ll never see as they have competing markets (that’s app markets, not product markets).

  • ndub21

    Yea, I think this is a bit different so I’m not sure lumping the Kindle Fires in with other Android tablets is legit. Technically they are, but I’d like to see them categorized separately. It’s like putting iPhones and iPods together in the same group.

  • cb2000a

    I would buy it if it had quad 2.5ghz cpu and 4 gigs of DDr3 ram. and a fold out 1080 screen (for $300).

  • Ilyse Rose

    I’d rather have a table that could be an ereader than an ereader that could pass for a tablet.

  • Diaeko

    haha for 300$ i woud buy 3-4
    1 for the toilet
    1 in the livingroom
    1 for my frinds
    and the last one is just in case if the first one drunk in the toilet

  • Dan Jones

    I don’t know about this. I see that the Fire is incredibly popular, and I could easily see Amazon releasing more tablets and really stealing a lot of market share, but to suggest they could control half of the market seems a bit of a stretch considering all the players involved.

  • desean

    Most who purchased the Fire is either for the price or the ecosystem. If Amazon continues in this direction, they would probably capture 50% of the Android tablet market soon.

  • masterpfa

    Yes Please!
    Just need it released in the UK and a comparable price point.

    Up until now I have made do with a Smartphone and a laptop, with in my opinion no need, or hard to justify at previous prices, getting a tablet of any kind.

    Now with the kindle Fire at such a low price I say why not, whereas HTC Flyer and Motorola Xoom at their joke prices, FORGET IT.

  • osc707

    i’m happy to see that iPad finally has a competitor

  • MJM128

    I’m not so sure about this 50% android market share.

  • Fede Montemurri

    Kindle fire is so pretty

  • Danny123

    Thy won’t be unless they start making some real tablets

  • Samar

    Waiting for the Amazon Phone. :-)

  • Fabio R

    half will go to the nexus tablet