Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle Fire tablet continues to draw attention and trigger market research surveys that confirm the device is piquing consumer interest.
Forty-four percent of 1,000 U.S. citizens interested in buying a tablet said they would purchase one of the 7-inch, custom Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablets instead of Apple's iPad 2 this holiday season, according to a fresh survey from consumer electronics review Website Retrevo.
Some 12 percent of those who plan to buy a tablet said they would still buy an iPad 2, which starts at $499, instead of the $199 Kindle Fire. So what of the remaining 44 percent, or 440 people? They claimed they didn't know what the Kindle Fire was, which means they didn't know enough about the Kindle Fire.
Indeed, Retrevo said 35 percent of respondents though the Kindle Fire was an electronic reader device like Amazon's existing Kindle machines, compared to 32 percent who correctly called it a tablet, and 32 percent of people who said they didn't know what the Fire was.
"The Amazon Kindle is a strong brand and a popular e-reader however, it looks like Amazon may have to spend some marketing dollars if it wants consumers to perceive Kindle as a tablet too," said Andew Eisner, Retrevo.com's director of community and content.
That means there is some serious brand messaging Amazon needs to clear up, though it could well take care of itself when the company launches the Fire Nov. 15. That will give consumers plenty of time to go into a store and test it, or simply read the phalanx of reviews that will surely accompany the launch next Tuesday.
The good news is that Amazon has logged so many pre-orders that it has now twice boosted its shipment orders. Digitimes, which spoke to component suppliers such as Wintek, LG Display, Quanta Computer and Aces Connectors, said Amazon has increased orders from the initial 3.5 million units to 4 million Fire, and now swelling over 5 million for 2011.
"Up until now, no tablet has been able to compete with Apple's iPad," Eisner noted. "Operating system confusion and lack of "tablet" apps on the Android side may have helped keep Android tablets at bay however, the iPad 2 is starting to show its age and the new Kindle Fire is about to make the scene with a very attractive $199 price point."
More broadly, tablet makers Apple, Amazon, other Android tablet makers such as Motorola, Samsung and HTC and others could enjoy solid holiday sales. Some 69 percent of those Retrevo surveyed said they were interested in either buying or tablet or at least learning more about them.
Some consumers will even own two after the holidays, underscoring the meme that iPad owners may be interested in purchasing a Kindle Fire as a complementary tablet.
Some 27 percent of respondents who already owned a tablet said they would buy the Kindle Fire this season, while 20 percent of tablet owners said they would get an iPad.