Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet has become a top driver of Android tablet application consumption in less than three months, according to mobile analytics firm Flurry.
Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire has managed to become
the first tablet based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system to
see demonstrable application usage in a short period, suggesting that the
7-inch slate has become quite the content driver for the
The tablet, which only launched Nov. 15, has already
matched the Samsung Galaxy Tab in application usage by an Android tablet,
according to mobile analytics firm Flurry.
Before the Fire launched in
November, the Galaxy Tab comprised 63 percent of Android app sessions. Yet
through January, the Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire each accounted for 36 percent of app
usage, showing the Fire paired with Amazon's Appstore has proved to be popular
Flurry also looked at data from five popular paid apps and
found that the Kindle Fire drove over 2.5 times more paid downloads to
consumers than the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has at least twice as many active
units in the real world as the Fire.
"This shows that for tablets, the Amazon Appstore
can already deliver more direct revenue to developers than the Android
Market," noted Flurry
, which tracks tens of thousands of Android apps, covering over 20 percent of all consumer sessions on more than 90 percent of all
Android devices each day.
These are telling stats at a time when analysts have all
but written off Android tablets as non-starters in a young tablet market that
industry watchers have taken to calling the iPad market.
Indeed, one of the reasons Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has
crushed the nascent Android slate market in market share and application usage
is that consumers don't have enough compelling content or applications to
access via Google's Android Market. There are only about 200 or so Android apps
designed for tablets based on the Android Honeycomb operating
The findings are drenched in irony. Google launched
Honeycomb nearly a year ago with the belief that the software would be powerful
enough to challenge the popular iPad.
Yet Google never open-sourced Honeycomb, and developers
were cool on writing for that branch of Android, even as the smartphone branch
became the most popular OS platform in the world. Indeed, Google expected the
hardware and OS to sell itself, but it never happened to the point that Google
expected it to.
Seizing on this dearth in tablet traffic, Amazon came out
of nowhere to offer a $199 tablet--less than half of existing tablets.
Moreover, the company eschewed Honeycomb to "fork," or customize, its
own Android build, and sold apps through its own Appstore instead of the
The successful approach has led RBC Capital analysts to claim
Amazon makes $136
from content and service per Kindle Fire unit.
Now Flurry is looking at the Fire as possibly the rising
tide the lifts all boats in the Android tablet market. "Total Android
tablet sessions in January more than tripled over November, with Galaxy Tab
sessions increasing by more than 50 percent," Flurry noted. "Overall,
Android tablets are growing aggressively as a category."
This appears to be true, according to recent data culled
from Strategy Analytics, which found that Android's tablet market share rose
from 29 percent in the third
quarter of 2011 to 39 percent by Q4. Conversely, iPad market share fell from 68
percent to 58 percent over the same period.