Amazon's Kindle Fire chomped away at Apple's iPad and Samsung's Android tablet market shares in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to IHS iSupply.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) managed to sell 3.9 million Kindle Fire
tablets during the fourth quarter, living up to analysts' sales estimates for
the 7-inch Android slate before it launched Nov. 15 for $199, said researcher IHS iSuppli (NYSE:IHS).
The Kindle Fire grabbed 14.3 percent of the nascent
tablet market. That's good for No. 2 in a market segment easily dominated by
Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad, which with 15.4 million units sold commanded 57
percent of Q4 tablets sales.
Samsung, which sells a handful of Android Honeycomb
tablets, ranging from 7 to 10.1 inches in display size, came in third in terms of percent
market share, selling 2.1 million units of its Galaxy Tab family.
The Fire was certainly disruptive. In Q3 2011, the iPad
commanded 64 percent market share on sales of 11.1 million iPads, while Samsung
sold 1.9 million Tabs for an 11 percent share. Apple and Samsung lost 7 percent
and 4 percent tablet market share, respectively, since the Fire's arrival.
Moreover, Samsung, Motorola and HTC are slashing their
tablet prices to compete with the Fire, IHS said. While the Fire was
responsible for cannibalizing some of the iPad's massive tablet market share, IHS also
deduced that the iPhone 4S actually whittled some of the popular tablet's share
IHS analyst Rhoda
Alexander said the arrival 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
Amazon doesn't provide unit shipment figures for its
Kindle family of e-readers or tablets, so analysts are left to conjecture and sales
In this case, Alexander told eWEEK she estimated the
Fire's unit sales and market share using a combination of supply chain input,
calculated factory shipments out, channel feedback and reductions to January
Interestingly, Alexander isn't so sure about the Fire's
future. That's because the company is practically selling each tablet at cost
and looking to make its money back in content and services, such as online
books and other goods, applications, and streaming music and video.
Other analysts are more confident in Amazon's Fire
strategy, which likely includes a device with a larger screen, for the long
haul. RBC Capital analyst Ross Sandler estimated the e-commerce giant could make $136 in content and goods from each
device over its lifetime.