Feb 16 AT 3:57 PM Dustin Earley 28 Comments

In just six weeks, Amazon managed to score 14% of the tablet market

Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been nothing short of a monstrous success. The device ruled the web during the biggest shopping season of the year in 2011, and took a huge chunk of the overall tablet market despite being available for only six weeks (almost seven) before the calendar closed out. So just how much of the tablet market does Amazon own now? According to the research firm, iSuppli, around 14%.

Disrupting sales of Apple’s iPad has been no easy feat. Despite releases from nearly every major name in the business, Android manufacturers have struggled to put a dent in Apple’s market share thus far. For Amazon, it was a breeze. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple’s tablet market share slipped from 63% in the third quarter to 57%, while Amazon and the Kindle Fire managed to capture 14% in just over six weeks. Apple shipped 15.4 million iPads, while Amazon shipped 3.9 million Kindle Fires. Of course, shipments are not the same as sales, but the popularity of both devices would put those numbers as pretty accurate estimates.

So just how did Amazon do it? They have two key pieces to the puzzle that other Android manufacturers lack: a name consumers trust and the means to make up for any money lost on cheap hardware. Kindle is a recognizable name. Samsung’s Galaxy line of devices is also recognizable, but still nowhere near the level of the Kindle or iProducts. And manufacturers like Samsung can’t use devices like the Galaxy Tab to sell content for a profit like Amazon. They have to sell Galaxy Tabs for a premium because once it sells, Samsung is done making money on it. When consumers buy a Kindle Fire for $200, Amazon doesn’t start making money until users start buying books, music, movies and whatever else Amazon has available – which is usually as soon as the Kindle Fire is turned on.

As the iPad 3 nears release, and rumors of several different larger Kindle Fires in the pipeline continue to heat up (pun intended), it will be interesting to see how the tablet market changes this year. If I was a betting man, I’d definitely put money on Amazon’s success. 14% is only the beginning.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: iSuppli

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

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  • spazby

    Amazon needs to make a premium tablet at a sub-premium pricing, i.e. comparable to ipad3 or galaxy tab 2 and price it 25% cheaper and make up the loss on content. Then they would capture a whole lot of tablet market. Call it Kindle Fire on Steroids and they would have more than 50% market share in 6 months.



      • M PITA

        Oh really. According to the Strategy Analytics report, Android garnered 39.1 percent of the global tablet share last quarter. This is great considering they were at 29 percent in 2010. Apple still leads with the iPad at 57.6 percent. What world do you live on?

      • tROubLEd-One

        Feck?.Damn I don’t know if I should laugh at you or feel sorry for you.Either way GET A LIFE only ignorant people like you post that type of crap what a damn loser.

      • Mark

        lol. You’re probably the same person or part of the group of people who said the same thing about Android phones when they first came out. So many Apple fan’s said Android didn’t stand a chance and iPhone would be the only one, now look at where Android is? More Android phones out there than iPhones. Android is new to tablets but it’s already putting a dent in it. Wait a year or two and then see where we’re at. 60% of tablets running Android? Sure :-)

        You should be happy for Android though, comptetition is good for us, the consumers. If it weren’t for Android do you think iPhone would be where it is today? Without anybody to stand up to Apple with a comparable product, do you think they’d be as cheap or have as many features as they do? In the same sense, us Android users should be happy for Apple, they help keep us on our toes, forces Android to innovate and manufacturers to come up with better hardware at cheaper prices. Competition is good for all and with Apple having 90% of the tablet market, that’s not good for us, the consumers.

      • jamal adam

        As a guest at Android and Me, I would have assumed that you would have at least an ounce of decency and respect for your fellow man and women, who share a common love for technology. Being a foul-mouthed and annoying person will do you no good. If you want to further the discussions and get your point across, on this site and any others, for that matter, I would recommend that you do so in a manner that is not disrespectful and immature. This is merely a suggestion.

    • thel0nerang3r

      IPad is $500 (US). You mean Amazon should sell similar hardware for $400? That’s a lot of sales to make up $100 per device just to break even to iPad. They could do it, but it would be with older hardware. Not as good of a screen and or processor, storage, RAM, etc. Which would make the experience not as good.

      • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

        Google must have an eye on this. Amazon placed a huge bet with this and it appears they won the bet. If Kfires were bought by people already owning an iPad or another tablet, then they really must have sold a lot of them. The tablet is good, I would have bought one if it had 10 inches and not 7 inches, not to mention 3G. I place my faith in the new tablets that will make the price on older ones be lower. This and Google :)

  • greeny42

    Now all they need to do is make a good tablet! Now that will be something.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Quite the contrary, their success actually proves that you don’t need to make a great tablet to be successful. It’s the whole ecosystem/experience that counts, and this is precisely what the Android ecosystem is lacking. That shortcoming is less obvious on the smartphone market because the phone itself has a well-defined function. But many people still don’t know why they would want a tablet. Apple, Amazon, and even B&N all do a better job that Google does when it comes to explaining to potential customers why they need a tablet.

  • SCJaredJ

    I wonder how much they’re actually “disrupting” iPad sales. I know a lot of people/families that picked up KFires that already have iPads. I’d be surprised if you didn’t see the Amazon and Barnes & Noble tablet offerings coexist in the tablet market with the iPads/Other tablets rather than taking up their share.

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

      I agree. Buying one doesn’t preclude you from purchasing the other, because they do very different things. I think of the Kindle Fire as a Kindle+, because the focus isn’t on apps, but content, and considering it’s only a $50 upgrade from the Kindle Touch, it’s in the realm of possibility.

      However, I wouldn’t expect to get much traditional work done.

  • McLovin

    I was all geared up to buy eBooks for my tablet and phone. Right up until I discovered that most eBooks cost more than the physical media! A lot of Kinkle owners must be going through sticker shock on Ebooks right about now. It’s the cheap tablet vs expensive media model.

    • GB

      no i download them for free and pay nothing

      • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

        That’s not correct. If we all download them for free, there will be no new releases. There must be a balance between buying and downloading something. As my personal income became larger, I started to buy more than before. I prefer to look at alternatives and not to pirate anything. In time, eBooks will become cheaper (or at least they should).

  • KenG

    If HP sold the TouchPad at a loss or even break even, they could have a huge share of the market.

    I know, Amazon will make up for the losses on the kindle fire. Maybe, maybe not. You have to wonder how many of the Fire customers would have been buying Amazon apps, content, etc. – a lot were already Amazon customers, so you shouldn’t compare future revenue from all Fire owners, just the ones who weren’t already buying Amazon content. I realize that # is not known, but it has to be estimated if you’re going to decide if selling the Fire at a loss is worth it.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      Just when a person bought something from Amazon before does not guarantee that he will buy another book, or a song, or a movie from Amazon in the future. In fact, I am sure that one of the Kindle Fire’s objective is to PREVENT those existing Amazon customers from making future purchases from competitors such as Apple, B&N, or the Android Market. Put it this way, if Amazon did not make the Kindle Fire, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that those customers would go to other channels to make their purchases.

      Also, don’t forget that a portion of Kindle Fire customers would sign up for Amazon Prime, which would also increase potential purchases for things other than digital content.

    • honourbound68

      Umm no… HP does not have an ecosystem like Android or Apple. Nor did they have the sheer number of developers needed to create apps for Web OS. I owned the Palm Pre and waited patiently for more apps and more content to no avail. Kindle is successful because of what it can do. They were riding the coat-tails of an established app market and supplemented it with their strengths (media & shopping). Amazon wasn’t gunning for Apple in the beginning but now that they have a success in their hands you can see that they are now highlighting that their device can do (almost) everything an iPad can do for a lower price. Great strategy on their part.

  • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane

    The key seems to be that people want the media pipe sold to them. That is why iPads and Kindle Fires sell. Even if you don’t buy the media, there is a certain legitimacy granted to the new platform when establishment media endorses it.

    When people don’t understand tablets, just like they mostly don’t understand computers, anything that makes them more comfortable will lift sales.

    But if it was me I just want a nexus tablet.

  • http://genesischess.com/ MJM128

    Now how many people have modded their Kindle Fire’s to run ICS?

    • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

      Kindle Fire should get the upgrade to ICS anyway. Unless Amazon wants to sell a new tablet. Either way, modding a Kindle Fire will only make you miss out of the Amazon ecosystem that makes the Kindle Fire worth buying.

  • thekaz

    One thing Apple is good at is making you think you need something you don’t really need. Unfortunately, they have that reputation now. Not sure there are many Android tablet manufacturers that can do the same, which is a shame.

    Perhaps Amazon has the cache to do this with Android tablets. If we’re lucky, they will come out with a whole line (and thus whole range) of tablets…

  • alejoar

    I guess this will change as soon as Asus launches it’s $250 tegra 3 device. I at least will buy that, and I don’t have a kindle, and I think there are many like me

    • AsakuraZero

      exactly the ASUS memo will be the best next thing after the kindle in the tablet market specialy the 7″ format.

  • Hall Lo

    I believe Amazon did very good job on marketing. It’s always good to see competitions as well.

  • ArticulateFool

    People really like affordable Android devices.

    Props to Amazon for putting 2 and 2 together effectively first!

  • Jorge Vieira

    I want the fire so bad! come on baby light my fire!

  • Trinhbo

    The best part of Amazon’s success with the Kindle Fire is that it validates this business model. They have shown that if you create a device that focuses on specific features that consumers truly care about (e.g., content, form factor, screen, relative ease of use) and price it aggressively, it will sell.

    All of these other Android manufacturers need to stop pricing their tablets more than $500. For that amount, consumers usually opt for the “sure thing” in the iPad which already has a rich base of apps and content.