Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Android Handhelds Hardware

Kindle Fire Grabs Over Half of the U.S. Android Tablet Market 134

New submitter DillyTonto writes "Amazon got shelled by analysts and the press after releasing a buggy first iteration of the Fire edition of the Kindle e-reader. Three weeks later the Kindle Fire owned 14 percent of the whole market for tablets. Three months later, more than half of all Android tablets sold in the U.S. are seven-inch Kindle Fires, despite a huge bias among buyers for 10-inch tablets. How could a heavily modded e-reader beat full-size tablets by major PC vendors? It's cheaper than any other tablet or e-reader on the market, for one thing. Also important is its focus on being an e-reader, 'because people buy hardware to have access to one app or function, then take the other things it can do as an additional benefit.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Kindle Fire Grabs Over Half of the U.S. Android Tablet Market

Comments Filter:
  • Better Marketing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:08PM (#39833361)

    I think that better marketing, and tie-in to the Amazon eBook store also played huge factors. Otherwise the Nook Color would have dominated long ago, as it has all the same benefits they tout about the Kindle Fire, but released much earlier and was a more polished product at the time of the Kindle Fire release.

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:14PM (#39833391)
    that being "why would you want to buy a tablet?".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:15PM (#39833397)

    1. The Fire is not a 'heavily modded e-reader'. E-book readers are traditionally e-paper devices, the Fire is an Android tablet with e-reader functionality highlighted in the software. You can make a tablet an e-reader, but the other way around, not so much.

    2. If more than half the Android tablets sold are 7 inch, then there is no bias among buyers for 10 inch tablets in that category. If you're talking about the entire tablet market, then of course it's 10 inch - the iPad still has more than half the tablet market *in units*.

    All that said, the last part is spot on - it's being marketed as an e-reader with extra features (woo, color!), not as a tablet... even thought that's exactly what it is. A lot of people still don't know what they want from a tablet, but they know what they want from an e-reader. If it does more stuff, all the better. If they want a tablet... statistically speaking, they're already buying an iPad.

  • by Gideon Wells ( 1412675 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:16PM (#39833399)

    Not sure if marketing or just cultural perceptions. While it isn't so much now, MP3 players were effectively generically iPods for a while. EReaders (I need to look up how to handle eReader words at the beginning of sentences. That just looks weird) are to many Kindle. For some a tablet is an iPad. Until the iPhone came out it wasn't a smartphone, but a Black Berry.

    This was the first color Kindle that was a Kindle. As the summary stated, people are likely buying an eReader instead of a tablet. I know people who are afraid to even sit down at a computer because it is a scary computer (they still exist) who see the Kindle Fire as a fancier and neat book.

  • by TechnicalExpert ( 2628135 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:19PM (#39833409)
    There's also the most insightful reason:

    Because Android market share on tablets is so small compared to iPad. This makes "android tablet market share" (wtf?) easy to capture to begin with. If people are too poor to get an iPad but want a tablet, they will get the cheapest they can. With Amazon's subsidization (their business model is to make money by selling ebooks, not devices), they are able to sell their device at the lowest price point.

    Basically, news about nothing.
  • Screw Kindle Fire. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:22PM (#39833421) Homepage Journal

    If I'm going to limit myself to a 7" tablet I'm going to get the Nook. Same processor, twice the on-board storage, twice the RAM, has an SD slot, just as hackable and can run the Kindle app.

    Cost the same.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:27PM (#39833435)

    They answered the right question, that being "why would you want to buy a tablet?".

    And they delivered at the right price. It seemed that most other tablets were in the price neighborhood of the iPad, so people naturally just got an iPad because of the iPad's perception of having more features and apps. With the Kindle Fire coming in at such a relatively lower price they overcame this perception of the iPad.

    I am an iPad dev [perpenso.com] and when I played with a Kindle Fire at a family Christmas dinner I thought it was a pretty cool device well worth the price, any performance differences or missing apps were more than offset by the price.

  • by xigxag ( 167441 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:30PM (#39833455)

    Fire's list price is $430 lower than the list price of the latest edition of the iPad

    Not $430 lower. $300 lower. (The $629 iPad is the 4G model, the Wi-Fi only model is just $499)

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @04:58PM (#39833569)

    I dunno if I agree. The Galaxy Tab ain't bad, really. I prefer my iPad, but I don't have any real serious complaints about the Tab. It even has a few things going for it, for example I can actually get emulators through the market. Can't do that with Apple, not without jailbreaking anyway.

    I do think it's a problem of marketing. If you go to Best Buy, for example, you get a nice big display of what the iPad can do for you. When you go to the next aisle, there's something like 20 machines somewhat iPad'ish in shape all with varying price-tags, but none significantly lower than the iPad. I think the casual shopper would walk past that aisle and think "ah, a failed-to-be-cheaper-clone."

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @05:30PM (#39833717)

    Curious to know how lacking was the perf., in your opinion?

    It was just a subjective impression. The device was a recently unwrapped Christmas present still in a largely stock configuration. I only played with it for about fifteen minutes. My feeling at the time while navigating between the various built-in apps, giving each a quick try, and then navigating a couple of web pages was that it was not as snappy as an iPad 2, but I didn't really care. It was a $200 device not a $500 device and it was clearly "good enough". As an engineer I was impressed at what they managed with such an aggressive price point.

    My cousin, the owner of the device, was quite familiar with the iPad 2, she often used her daughters, and had a similar impression. However she added that she loved the size, it looked far more convenient to carry around during the day to her.

  • by voss ( 52565 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:02PM (#39833837)

    Which is why eventually the number of Android tablets will surpass the IPAD, even though Apple will still make
    tons of money at the high end.

    The secret of the Kindle Fire is that for now they have found the sweet spot of android tablets. A high enough price
    not to be junk and a low enough price to compete against Ipad and the Fires secret sauce...the backing of amazon.com
    who has the customer service and the money and wont cut and run which gives buyers confidence

    Also Amazon.com unlike the other tablet sellers built up gradually from a successful inexpensive e-reader
      instead of just trying to come up with a "Our version of the ipad"


  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:06PM (#39833849)
    The framing here is that the Kindle Fire has more than half of the "Android tablet market," but that's a framing that only makes sense to those who follow technology closely and care heavily about Android. This says less about the strength of the Kindle Fire than it does about the fact that there isn't much of an Android tablet market. There's an iPad market. And there's a market for specialized devices such as the Kindle. But that's about it. The vast majority of Kindle Fire owners wouldn't even think of themselves as owning an Android tablet. They simply own a Kindle. There just aren't that many people who want a non-iPad tablet unless it's a specialized device (as they see the Fire), IMO. Unless you're an Android enthusiast, there's no reason to specifically look at an Android tablet.
  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @06:34PM (#39833941) Homepage Journal

    Right. The market share so tiny that a tablet can grow from 14% of the total tablet market to 50% of the Android tablet market, which implies at least 28% of the tablet market belongs to Android (this from the fucking summary posted above). You technical experts are pretty fucking dumb.

  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @08:02PM (#39834325)

    Fanboys aren't capable of performing cognitive tasks, such as arithmetic, when the love of their life is involved.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Saturday April 28, 2012 @09:21PM (#39834777)

    First, Depends on where you choose to place your standards. Mine include standard ports, extensible/removable storage, and USB device/host mode. As you said, the Xoom is great at $299, especially with 64GB total, a dock, and a sleeve. An equivalent iPad would have set me back about 3x more, not including all proprietary cables and doodads, and extra Apps I've already purchased on Android.. I'm not sure what functionality you're thinking of.. it's sure harder and more expensive to connect an Ipad to/from stuff than a Xoom, with its standard ports, free UPnP/DLNA, cheap SDs, USB or Wifi keyboard and mouse and gamepad...

    I'm really curious about what functionality you're thinking of, if you care to expand ?

    Second, I don't really care about performance. I don't game in my tablet, mainly browse/read and watch video, so performance has been "good enough" for me for a while. I still have an original Nook Color, which I find OK too, though too small for at-home use.

    Lastly, you overgeneralize: some Android phones have clearly superior features: my Note's AMOLED screen is both bigger, more contrasted, less tiring on the eyes, and more beautiful than the iPhone's unusable (to my old eyes), stamp-size, glow-in-the-dark LCD screen. Also, you seem to forget that Asus is also pushing keyboard docks that some people seem to love, and that quad-core is not only about performance, but also about battery life.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.