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Amazon’s Kindle Fire sales second place to iPad, set to ‘vaporise’ other Android tab sales

Sales figures for the Amazon Kindle Fire are predicted to ship 3.9 million units by the end of the year, placing it behind the iPad and above the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Figures from research firm IHS peg the Kindle Fire’s market share at 13.8 per cent of global media, significantly behind Apple’s 65.6 per cent, but head and shoulders above that of the Tab 10.1, which makes up just 4.8 per cent.

This news comes despite the lack of a worldwide launch of the Kindle Fire and it’s technical limitations compared to other Android tablets and Apple’s iPad.

The big draw however is content. “Most other Android tablet makers must earn a profit based on hardware sales alone,” says IHS’ Rhoda Alexander.

“In contrast, Amazon plans to use the Kindle Fire to drive sales of physical goods that comprise the majority of the company’s business.

As long as this strategy is successful, the company can afford to take a loss on the hardware while its Android competitors cannot.”

The Kindle Fire is also an attractive draw thanks to its price, “$199 – which is less than the $201.70 it now costs to make the device – the Kindle Fire has created chaos in the Android tablet market,” says Alexander.

So like the good old GameBoy, which lacked the backlit colour screen of its GameGear rival, it had something everyone wanted and was cheaper. In Amazon’s case, ebooks and discounted Android apps look to be its equivalent of Tetris.

Fire, Appstore, Burn

Robert Cihra, an analyst at US financial services company Evercore Partners even goes so far as to predict that Kindle Fire sales will account for “50 per cent of all Android tablets in [2012],” adding that “Amazon’s success may just vaporise other ‘for profit’ Android tablet OEM roadmaps.”

Presumably figures quoted here refer to American sales only, given that the Kindle Fire’s (currently) US-only. For clarification, the figures quoted from IHS are estimated global sales, giving you an idea of how much of an impact the tiny tab has made.

Here in the UK, we’ve seen the release of the Kobo Vox eReader, a colour Android tablet that features a customised UI and is being pitched as an ebook reader more than a tab. Sold via WHSmiths, it’s being pitched somewhat as the UK’s answer version of the Kindle fire.

Costing £170, it’s attractively priced; jury’s out on whether or not it will replicate the Stateside success of the Kindle Fire; it lacks an Android app store of it’s own, though the Facebook integration, which allows for virtual book clubs to post reviews, and has a Foursquare-style badge system could prove popular.

Source: IHS, CNN Money, via


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