For all the blustering from both the iOS and Android sides of the tablet market, the fact remains that iPads are still at the top of the heap in tablet sales. According to analyst estimates, Amazon may have sold 6 million Kindle Fire tablets in Q4 2011 alone.
Amazon hasn’t officially released sales numbers for theyet, but an analyst at a firm called Stifel Nicolaus, Jordan Rohan, released his estimate of 6 million units sold. If these figures are true, the Kindle Fire numbers are similar to the sales numbers for the first generation of the .
But that’s not the figure that other Android tablet manufacturers need to be worried about. Another firm, Strategy Analytics, has determined that Android tablets make up about 39.1% of the overall tablet market share. However, of that percentage of Android tablets, Amazon supposedly has around 57% of that market share. This is somewhat surprising, since Samsung, ASUS, and Sony tablets seem to be so popular and ubiquitous when people think of Android tablets.
Obviously, the low price of the Kindle Fire has a huge impact on sales numbers compared to the Transformer Prime which are at least twice as expensive as the Fire. Add to that Amazon’s emphasis on delivering a whole ecosystem of apps, e-books, videos, and music to Kindle Fire users via Amazon’s built-in stores, and it’s no wonder 6 million units have been sold, and counting.line or ASUS tablets like the
Granted, the demographic groups for the Kindle Fire compared to other Android tablets are different, since Amazon markets more to media consumers, e-book readers, and non-techie customers. But there are still some Android hackers out there buying up the Fire instead of other more vanilla Android tablets to hack and load a more stock Android ROM onto because it’s such a cheap device, so the threat to more conventional Android tablets still stands. And let’s not forget scrappy Barnes and Noble, giving Amazon a bit of a run for their money with the NOOK Tablet. The is slightly more expensive, but has a strong hacker community like that of the Kindle Fire, as well as a larger contingent of regular Barnes and Noble/Nook fans.
So beware, Samsung, ASUS, Sony, Lenovo, and the rest, because inexpensive 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet aren’t going away. If you’re not careful, these highly customized Android tablets are going to pull the rug out from under you.