The Kindle Fire was the first alternative tablet to take a noticeable chunk out of Apple’s market share when it launched last year. It was the gadget of the 2011 holiday season. It featured reasonable specs, and a promising ecosystem of apps and digital content. This led to an impressive 14% of the global tablet market in the last quarter of 2011, despite only being available in the States, and for only 6 weeks of that three month period.
This year’s a completely different story. Not only is it being challenged by the likes of Google’s Nexus 7 and Barnes and Noble’s tablet, but the iPad mini landed on the scene. Analyst Chad Bartley of Pacific Crest – as a result of success from the iPad mini – has slashed his estimations on Kindle Fire shipments by 25%, down to just 6 million, even though the Kindle Fire is now available in more than one flavor and in other international countries too.
“Although weak Kindle Fire demand is potentially positive for profitability, it does imply that Amazon is still struggling to compete against Apple, and may even be seeing competition from Google. This could make it more difficult for Amazon to drive incremental purchases of digital media and physical products over the longer term.”
Was the Kindle Fire an “impulse buy” last year that didn’t live up to expectations? Was Apple right to assume the experience would play in to its hands eventually? Leave your thoughts below or tweet me.