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Analysts: iPad's tablet share cut to 58% due to Kindle Fire

updated 07:40 am EST, Thu January 26, 2012

Android tablets rise to 29pc only via Amazon help

The Amazon Kindle Fire may have saved Android's share of tablets, Strategy Analytics reckoned from its calculation of shipments. Although the research firm didn't break down individual model numbers, the known strong Kindle Fire sales could be credited to Android more than tripling tablet shipments versus a year ago, to 10.5 million units. Apple's 15.4 million iPads still kept it in the clear majority, at 57.6 percent, but Android now had 39.1 percent of the fledgling category.

The full extent of Microsoft's trouble in tablets, meanwhile, became fully evident. At just 400,000 Windows tablets shipped in the fall, Microsoft had 1.5 percent of the market, leaving it in the "niche" it has had for nearly a decade. Apple's iPad is well-known to have outsold Windows tablets' eight years of cumulative sales in just nine months, and it was apparent in the study that Microsoft was still waiting on a solution.

"The upcoming release of Windows 8 this year cannot come quickly enough for Microsoft, so its hardware partners can start competing more effectively in the tablet space," analysts said.

As much as low-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire impacted Apple, the company still "shrugged off" the threat, Strategy Analytics added. While unofficial, signs exist that Apple could regain much of the share it lost. Kindle Fire shipments may have been cut in half, and most Android device builders won't have refreshes until the spring. Apple has established an early pattern of launching new iPads in early spring and, if it ships in March, may avoid the seasonal slump expected from Android.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Again the growth of Android is

    underestimated whilst ios is being overestimated. Tablets are a growing market and it is trending towards apple having a decreasing share of this growing market. Windows consumer oriented tablets will quickly gain market share because they will more seamlessly work with other windows laptops and pc's. Windows tablets will make a much quicker impact sales wise than android because people feel like they know windows.

  1. Greengo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Of course with Amazon not willing to give actual numbers for the Fire, these are guesses AND Amazon's version of Android is its own flavour (this is why Devs have to make special versions of their apps for the Fire). So Adding the Fire to the over all Android numbers is almost a bit of stretch here, almost. Amazon doesn't even advertise "Android" and that the underpinnings of the OS is based on Android. Also, the same people guessing here are also saying that the Fire numbers are now dropped by half heading into this quarter. Apple is still selling more than anyone. The pie is growing with more and more companies jumping in. Just like the iPhone is still kicking butt, so is the iPad.

  1. jscotta

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is the Kindle Fire an Android? Amazon certainly isn't touting it that way. Many, if not most, apps designed for the Android platform cannot without problems, or at all, on the Fire. It started out as Android, but I doubt that it is Android now.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Market vs Profit

    Apple's market share may be 58% but they have close to 40% gross margin on each iPad sold. Amazon, on the other hand, are taking a loss on every Kindle Fire that they sell. I know which business model I prefer because there has never been a recorded case of a loss-leading strategy that resulted in a long-term cash positive position. Which is to say that losses incurred to obtain market share are never fully recovered against future direct or indirect revenues. The only reason such strategies are considered is through the benefits of creative accounting rather than the simpler sell-for-profit strategy that Apple employs. To this extent, though a technological leader, Apple's business methods are wonderfully old-fashioned: make something and then sell it for more than it cost to produce. It's so simple and it works.

  1. facebook_Adam

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2012


    comment title

    The only solid numbers here are from Apple. None of the other tablet manufacturers are reporting sales.

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Comparing Apples and oranges

    Once again, what a bogus report. Shipment number doesn't count as sold. Every Android players like Amazon and Samsung are artificially boosting their numbers by counting how many box they move to the distribution channel and ignoring returns or actual units sold numbers.

  1. Wingsy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    What jscota said. The Fire may have Android code buried somewhere under the hood but it has zero benefit to the Android community. It's basically Amazon's software running it, leaning on an Android base. No Android ads, no Android apps, no benefit to Google at all. So why even count it as an Android tablet?

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "As much as low-cost tablets like the Kindle Fire impacted Apple,"

    Maybe we should include the Etch-a-Sketch in the numbers after all it is a tablet Right???

    iPad is a computer in its most minimal form.
    the Fire is an e-reader,
    the Etch-a-Sketch is ....... timeless. LOL

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's more like an Amazon/Android OS. But if analysts and Google want to dare consider it as part of the Android family, that will just confirm the foolishness of having a platform that can be so fragmented that it can't even run its own apps created the very same year.

  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm not denying that these number could, theoretically, be correct--it's a big world--but I honestly want to know where all these Android tablets are. I have met, in my life, one person with a Xoom who bought it because he really liked Flash. I have otherwise never seen nor heard in person of a non-iPad tablet buyer. I have, in contrast, two co-workers who got an iPad instead of a netbook (both of them Windows users, I might add), and know several other people who own (and regularly use) one. I've seen a number of them "in the wild" on the streets and in airports, too.

    Again, I'm not saying that there aren't that many non-Apple tablets out there, I just honestly want to know where they all are. Do they only get used at home and never talked about otherwise? Are they all owned by tech-types in Silicon Valley? Outside the US--Korea and China, maybe?

    Regardless, I do find all this talk of the Fire "impacted Apple" amusing. Apple, according to their CEO just this week, and backed up by actual unit sales numbers, saw no drop in sales due to the Fire. In fact, he also said that they sold as many as they were capable of getting manufactured. Which is to say that it didn't impact Apple AT ALL, no matter how many it sold. It reduced Apple's proportional share of the market, but that's very, VERY different from "impacting" them.

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