iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

Summary: With the debut of the Kindle Fire, Amazon went from having zero percent of the market share in Q3 2011 to garnering 14 percent of the share by the end of Q4.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
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A new report from IHS iSuppli finds (once again) that Apple controls well over the majority of the tablet market share worldwide as of the fourth quarter of 2011.

But the real story is the how, within three months, Amazon surged past the competition and left all but Apple in the dust.

With the debut of the Kindle Fire, Amazon went from having zero percent of the market share in Q3 2011 (obviously, as they didn't have any tablets -- just e-book readers) to garnering 14 percent of the share by the end of Q4.

That's nearly double than what Samsung posted, which has had several Galaxy Tab models out on the market for some time now. Both Samsung and Asus experienced losses at the hands of Amazon, and the only other brand in the top five to see and increase in share was Barnes & Noble.

B&N was helped largely by a new release of its own. However, Q1 2012 numbers will give us a better idea of where the Nook Tablet stands in the face of its direct competitor, the Kindle Fire, as it won't have the energy of being a new release nor the holiday season to help it.

Interestingly, Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS, explained in the report that Apple's biggest competition wasn't really the Kindle Fire, but another product of its own making:

Shipments of the iPad line fell short of IHS estimates in the fourth quarter as many loyal Apple customers devoted their dollars to shiny new alternatives.

However, the primary alternative wasn’t the Kindle Fire—which debuted to solid sales in the fourth quarter—but Apple’s own iPhone 4S smartphone. The rollout of the iPhone 4S in October generated intense competition for Apple purchasers’ disposable income, doing more to limit iPad shipment growth than competition from the Kindle Fire and other media tablets.

Although Apple lost only a relatively little chunk of its market share, it definitely goes to show that this market is getting more competitive and no one can get relaxed.

Chart via IHS iSuppli

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Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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21 comments
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  • kindle schwindle

    how do they know how many units of the kindle fire have sold? amazon doesn't tell us and that is probably for a reason: the kindle fire doesn't sell well.
    bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
    • Keep telling yourself that.

      @bannedfromzdnetagainandagain, you keep saying this over and over, but estimates from reputable sources indicate that Amazon has sold millions of them, and continues to do so. Amazon does not release sales numbers, but they do list sales leaders and the Fire has been their best selling product ever. That counts for something.

      On a personal note, I see Fire's everywhere. It seems like everyday at work I run into someone new that has a Fire, with some having bought multiples. One lady down the hall bought four, one for herself and one each for her daughters. She was looking at iPads, but could not justify the price. Another person in my office bought 2, one for himself and one for his wife. He was also looking at getting an iPad, but decided he would rather have two Fire's than one iPad. This story has repeated many times just in the group of people that I interact with.
      itpro_z
      • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

        @itpro_z

        I have yet to see a Fire. All I see are iPads. On the train, on the bus, in the doctor's office and in meetings in the office. I have yet to see a Kindle fire. I did actually see something I thought was a Fire and it turned out to be a Nook.
        dhmccoy
      • Surprisingly

        @itpro_z
        Traveling a lot, I make an effort to look at wht people are using.
        I will say I am seeing a surge in KFires to the point that pc's, iPads and KFires are the top three in the last couple of weeks at airports....
        rhonin
      • yep

        @itpro_z
        i just keep repeating the obvious: no data available other than the sales numbers of the ipad. the rest is just random estimates based on no methodology whatsoever. all the other companies chose not to disclose their real sales numbers, neither samsung, amazon or anyone else. why is that? because they sell their tablets by the truck load?
        bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
      • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

        @itpro_z

        Wp7 is dead as KIN. To low specs

        I love my Iphone Dual Core.
        Sultansulan
  • The Perfect Price Point (PPP)

    I do not understand why everyone seem surprised. At $199.00, it's the perfect price point. I bought 2, one for my wife and myself each. It was not Amazons content, it was not the UI. It was the PRICE. I rooted it and installed ICS. I now have a mid level tablet with full ICS functionality for a third of the cost of most tablets on the market. If you think those sale numbers are amazing, wait until the Asus Eee Pad Memo 370T arrives ($250.00). I am ready to buy 4 money in hand. MS, IBM, Apple,Samsung etc. PPP sells
    sadmglw
    • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

      @sadmglw
      It still only has 8Gb storage, no volume rocker, poor resolution and cluncky plastic design. Other than that I hope you enjoy it.
      global.philosopher
      • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

        @global.philosopher
        At least it doesn't wheight 2 tons like my iPad2. Long live plastic. We are talking about handheld electronic devices here, not jewelry.
        JB5645
  • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

    Google and it's OHA partners are getting squeezed by Apple at the high end and Amazon and Barnes & Noble at the low end. When Amazon releases a nominal 10-inch tablet later this year, there will be even less room for Google and it's OHA partners.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

      @Rabid Howler Monkey You realize the Kindle Fire runs Android? Without Google and Android Amazon wouldn't have a Kindle Fire. It's also why any Android user can also download apps from Amazon. Amazon actually give's Android users one free app a day. I download Android apps from Amazon to my ASUS Transformer Prime regularly.
      mrxxxman
      • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

        @mrxxxman Yes, Amazon's Kindle Fire is based on Android. But, it's the open-sourced version as Amazon is not a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA). Nor is Barnes & Noble a member of the OHA.

        What's currently happening with open-sourced Android being used by Amazon and Barnes & Noble is somewhat similar to what Apple faced when Psystar attempted to ship Mac OS X on it's cheap desktop systems. With Mac OS X being closed-source and having licensing restrictions with regard to its use on non-Apple hardware, Apple was able to vanquish Psystar. While Amazon's apps may be of benefit to you with your ASUS Transformer Prime tablet, how, exactly, does Amazon's and B & N's subversion of Android benefit Google and its OHA partners? Remember, the Fire and Nook do not ship with Google's services pre-installed, access to Google's Android Market is blocked and OHA hardware manufacturers are experiencing reduced device sales.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

      @Rabid Howler Monkey
      Who cares if it's not OHA?

      From user perspective: They don't care where it's from, just as long as they have media like videos and music, all the major "apps", and a reasonable browser (check, check, and check). As a side bonus, smart users who know it runs Android like Mrxxxman know they can sideload a large number of Android Market or free GetJar apps from other tablet manufacturers.

      From Google's perspective: They sell ads. They still make money off of the ads on the Kindle Fire. Google "loses" just a touch of money from Gapps (maps, navigation, etc). Oh wait, they would have never had the licensing money at all if Amazon chose, say, Meego. So no difference here.

      From Developer perspective: Another source of income and I don't have to do much? BRING IT! Much like the BB10 Playbook patch: almost nothing to lose and bam, your app reached another platform!

      Bottom line: The only reason Psystar was shut down was to maintain a monopoly. Think about it: Psystar was offering cheaper devices because they were charging a significantly smaller margin. If there's only one source of an OS, then the controlling company can charge whatever if the market has a demand for it. i.e. HP could have charged a lot of money if WebOS was in demand (before they open sourced it anyway). Where else would you get a WebOS device?

      Oh, and to answer your question? After the developer completes any exclusivity agreements they have on Amazon, Android as a whole benefits from having another app inside it's ecosystem. If you were a developer and only had to pay $15 one-time, wouldn't you list it on the Android Market? I know I would.
      Win8AnUglyDisaster
  • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

    Apple's tablet market share continues on a downward slope. That will only be accelerated in 2012 with the advent of Android 4, ICS on new Android tablets and the updating of existing ones.
    mrxxxman
    • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

      @mrxxxman

      Sure. It's easy when Apple is the only one who provides actual sales numbers. By this time next year, Apple will have sold another 60m tablets, their share will fall to 50% and no one will ever actually see another tablet but the iPad in the wild.
      dhmccoy
    • Eh?

      I don't know how anyone could take the data supplied in this article and use it to claim that Android (i.e. ICS) tablets have a bright future. The only thing we've seen happen here is that Amazon has a big hit with its $199 7" Kindle. It is nominally based on Android, but that is Amazon's proprietary fork that will most likely drift farther and farther away from Google's Android releases. All of the mainline Android tablets are sucking wind. What is going to come along to make that change? Windows 8? That can only make it worse for Android.
      Robert Hahn
      • data

        @Robert Hahn <br>there is no data in this article other than the ipad numbers. none of the other parties do disclose their sales numbers. neither samsung, amazon or anyone else. no data, just estimates based on no methodology. or to put it bluntly, numbers pulled out of the a** of an analyst.
        bannedfromzdnetagainandagain
  • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

    Still no sales numbers, huh? I
    dhmccoy
  • RE: iSuppli: Kindle Fire jumps from zero to 14 percent of market share

    Wp7 is dead as KIN. To low specs

    I love my Iphone Dual Core.
    Sultansulan
  • We lose money on every device

    but we'll make it up in volume!
    baggins_z