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Kindle Fire shipments drop sharply as Apple's iPad takes 68% tablet share

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
Shipments of Android-based tablets including Amazon's Kindle Fire saw a "steep drop" in the first quarter of 2012, allowing Apple's iPad to grow to 68 percent of tablets shipped worldwide.

The latest data released on Thursday by IDC shows that Apple's worldwide market share increased significantly from the 54.7 percent the company held in the holiday quarter to conclude 2011. Apple's gains came largely from Amazon's losses, as the Kindle fire plummeted from 16.8 percent share in the fourth quarter of 2011 to just 4 percent share in the first quarter of 2012.

"Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season," said Tom Mainelli, research director, Mobile Connected Devices at IDC.

"Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers. And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well."

Amazon's sharp drop in shipments of the Kindle Fire allowed Samsung to regain the No. 2 position in worldwide tablet shipments. Lenovo finished the quarter in fourth place, while Barnes & Noble, maker of the Nook platform which will see a $300 million investment from Microsoft, came in fifth.

IDC said that although Android tablet shipments fell "sharply" in the first quarter of 2012, there are signs that products from Samsung and Lenovo "are beginning to gain traction in the market." The research firm expects that tablet shipments will rebound in the coming quarters.



"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N, and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products at notably lower price points," Mainelli said.

"We expect a new, larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture."

The initial success of the Kindle Fire last holiday season helped to push Apple's share of total tablet shipments under 60 percent. But that strong start now appears to have been short lived, as shipments decreased sharply after the holidays.

Amazon is expected to expand its Kindle Fire lineup in the coming months with a new, larger 10-inch model that will be sold alongside the current 7-inch version, which sells for $199.
post #2 of 107

But… But we just heard how well it was selling shipping… 

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 107

Shipped vs sold... I think the iPad’s doing even better than these numbers make it sound.

 

(And then there are return rates. I wonder if Target is dropping the Fire because of high return rates?)

post #4 of 107

Samsung:  "This is good news.  This means there's still a chance for our 'Note' to be a player in the Tablet market!"

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post #5 of 107
I have a different take on this, something which I've suspected from the start.

Anybody can fool a buyer with slick marketing and a rubbish product. However, once bitten, consumers generally don't make that mistake again.

I expect to see something similar happen with Android phones in the next year or so as well as technical issues, bad customer service, lack of updates, and scarcity of quality apps make their mark on all the suckers buying them now.

And I'd love to know the return rates on Android devices too...
post #6 of 107
"Lower price points", that's a joke. They are selling at a lower price point because they are limited devices. The may gain market share but they will not gain profit. Apple has this whole thing figured out and is destroying the competition either way.
post #7 of 107

I never understood how anyone could have thought that the Fire would be a year long seller.

 

http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/136022/teardown-of-amazons-kindle-fire-reveals-texas-instruments-omap-4430-chip#post_1988883

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post #8 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post


And I'd love to know the return rates on Android devices too...

 

 

When they get returned, they get "shipped" ...  Back to the factory.

post #9 of 107

68% shipped, and likely 98% sales.

 

How sad is the rest of the industry.....

post #10 of 107

Cant believe this is even a surprise.  I know individual experience is never a true indicator of market demand.. but I've literally NEVER heard someone say that they flatout wanted a Kindle Fire.  What I have heard is something to the tune of, "I've been thinking about getting an iPad.. but its $500 and the Kindle is $200.. whats the difference and can the Kindle do the same thing".  And that conversation has so meaning in that its the mindset of many customers.  Now that the iPad2 is $399.. the price difference between the iPad & Kindle is alot closer.  Thats before you even go into details about what the iPad is capable of vs the limitations of the Kindle.  Throw in the resale value of the iPad should someone decide they dont want it anymore and its a pretty close competition purely on price alone.

 

Same could be said of Android tablets.  I live & work in Washington DC.  I catch the public bus & train to work everyday.  I walk the busy downtown streets to/from the office & lunch.  And I've still yet to see someone using an Android tablet.  I've seen plenty of older model Kindles, a Blackberry Playboo and even 5" large screen Android phones (Galaxy Note, etc).  But never a straight up, 10" screen or so Android tablet.  With 5 million people in this area, and other tablets being so rare.. the market dominance by the iPad is definitely much larger than what these numbers are showing!

post #11 of 107

I thought this would happen. Kindles are gift items. I bet that's why Amazon doesn't report sales. They only sell in significant numbers during the holidays. They're also essentially only good as e-readers, a market that I think is fast approaching saturation.

post #12 of 107
Yeah, Kindle did well for Xmas, since it's appealing as a gift (cheap, but a recognizable brand). But people who want a tablet for themselves, want - and are prepared to pay for - an iPad. Amazon may pull it off again this Xmas, with a larger screen model, but I don't think it'll have the same effect and it'll be splitting the "non-iPad" market with google this time. Apple with dominate while cheap android tablets fight each other for table scraps.
post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daekwan View Post

Cant believe this is even a surprise.  I know individual experience is never a true indicator of market demand.. but I've literally NEVER heard someone say that they flatout wanted a Kindle Fire.  What I have heard is something to the tune of, "I've been thinking about getting an iPad.. but its $500 and the Kindle is $200.. whats the difference and can the Kindle do the same thing".  And that conversation has so meaning in that its the mindset of many customers.  Now that the iPad2 is $399.. the price difference between the iPad & Kindle is alot closer.  Thats before you even go into details about what the iPad is capable of vs the limitations of the Kindle.  Throw in the resale value of the iPad should someone decide they dont want it anymore and its a pretty close competition purely on price alone.

 

DaHarder flat out wanted a Kindle Fire.

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post #14 of 107

Estimates of tablet market share vary so wildly, (and vary even day to day from the same sources), that it's really not worth reporting these stories except as "guestimates." 

 

There's a good argument here that Android's share might be as low as 8 or 10 percent. 

 

I've read a lot of arguments about tablet share and all you can really say is iPad's share is "huge," or "dominating."  

 

IMO based on all the reading I've done, iPad has always had roughly 80% of the tablet market except in the first year when it had 90-95%

post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post

Yeah, Kindle did well for Xmas, since it's appealing as a gift (cheap, but a recognizable brand). But people who want a tablet for themselves, want - and are prepared to pay for - an iPad. Amazon may pull it off again this Xmas, with a larger screen model, but I don't think it'll have the same effect and it'll be splitting the "non-iPad" market with google this time. Apple with dominate while cheap android tablets fight each other for table scraps.

 

Don't forget... Apple will have its 7" model out for the holidays.

 

 

 

 

 

j/k

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post #16 of 107

A new novel coming from Amazon: The Race of the Bottom Feeders.

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post #17 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

And I'd love to know the return rates on Android devices too...

 

 

Galaxy Tab return rate as high as 16%, researcher says

 

Some speculate many returns are due to Froyo's inability to fully run Android apps on 7-inch screen

 

February 1, 2011 05:47 PM ET
 
 
 
 
 

 

Computerworld - Since Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet debuted in the U.S. in November, return rates have been as high as 16%, said ITG Investment Research, which tracked sales at nearly 6,000 wireless stores.

By comparison, the return rate of the larger iPad from Verizon Wireless stores has been at 2% since Verizon put it on sale in November. All four major carriers sell the iPad device, but return rates for others were not available.

ITG analysts did not explain possible reasons for the high Galaxy return rate, and Galaxy officials could not be reached to comment.

Some bloggers have speculated the returns could be related to the Galaxy Tab's running of the Froyo version of Android.

Samsung acknowledged to Computerworld in September that some Android apps would not run at full 1024 x 600 resolution on the 7-inch screen on the Froyo-based Galaxy Tab. Officials said those apps would instead be framed in the display at 800 x 400.

Mobile services such as Google Maps are fully scalable on the Galaxy Tab, however, Samsung added at the time.

Hugo Barra, Google director of mobile products, had said last summer that Froyo, or Android 2.2, was not designed for the larger tablet form factor and was principally for smartphone screens of 4 inches or less. The latest version of Android, also known as Honeycomb, is designed for larger screens, according to Honeycomb lead designer Matias Duarte.

Running Froyo on a tablet could result in apps that are a "little ugly," analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said last September before the Galaxy Tab device appeared.

However, many reviewers have not mentioned that problem. For example, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal called the Galaxy Tab a "serious alternative to the iPad" in a November review.

Samsung has reportedly said that it sold 2 million Galaxy Tabs in the fourth quarter. Some experts, though, have said Samsung shipped 2 million Galaxy Tabs shipped in the quarter, meaning some could still be unsold on store shelves.

Whatever the number, some analysts have said the Galaxy Tab is having an impact on iPad sales.

post #18 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhikl View Post

A new novel coming from Amazon: The Race of the Bottom Feeders.

The race of the bottom feeders is not a bad race to be in.. Ever heard of Wal Mart?

 

Target and Walmart are both threatened by Amazon's ability to take their customers out of their stores with lightning fast shipping and world class customer service. The Kindle Fire is just a vehicle to have more people identify with an already impressive brand. Furthermore, Amazon doesn't release sales figures for their Kindles, so this whole story is just speculation..(from a website called Appleinsider, no less) Consider the source. Amazon is threatening Apple too because of their multifaceted capacities to serve not only the demand for digital content, but also the kitchen sink. 

post #19 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post

Yeah, Kindle did well for Xmas, since it's appealing as a gift (cheap, but a recognizable brand). But people who want a tablet for themselves, want - and are prepared to pay for - an iPad. Amazon may pull it off again this Xmas, with a larger screen model, but I don't think it'll have the same effect and it'll be splitting the "non-iPad" market with google this time. Apple with dominate while cheap android tablets fight each other for table scraps.

I think you nailed it there.  The Fire is the new digital photo frame.  Everybody buys it as a gift, nobody buys it for themselves.  And the recipients are always disappointed but only those who weren't raised properly complain. 

post #20 of 107

So it's May already and I only know of two people who actually have Kindle Fires. The first person also owns an original iPad and will be buying the latest iPad very shortly and the second person got the Fire as a raffle prize. Last I heard, the second person's kids use it as an Angry Birds machine. I always thought it was fishy that Amazon would never report actual numbers. I can understand if they hardly sold any, you'd want to keep that info quiet, but if you sold a lot, you'd think they'd want to boast about that with actual numbers.
 

post #21 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

But… But we just heard how well it was selling shipping… 

850,000,000,000 activations a minute can't be wrong!

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post #22 of 107
This goes back to the previous thread of why Target discontinued all Amazon product sales. It's pretty obvious that one major reason is because they weren't selling enough to pay for the costs of having them on the floor.

I think it's very likely that the vast majority of buyers for these things are buying them directly from Amazon's website, leaving few to be sold anywhere else. If we can believe IDG's numbers for once, sales of 750,000 would then mean that retailers would possibly be selling no more than a few tens of thousands all together.

This is a reminder of what happened to Hp's Touchpad, where they sold only about 25,000 of the almost one million they produced before dropping the price drastically. Best Buy wanted to return the rest in stock. I imagine that Target is doing the same thing with the Amazon Kindle's and Fire.

No conspiracy between Apple and Target is required to explain this.
post #23 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by applematty View Post

The race of the bottom feeders is not a bad race to be in.. Ever heard of Wal Mart?

 

 

 

Is't that where lots of people go to buy Apple stuff?

post #24 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by applematty View Post

The race of the bottom feeders is not a bad race to be in.. Ever heard of Wal Mart?

Target and Walmart are both threatened by Amazon's ability to take their customers out of their stores with lightning fast shipping and world class customer service. The Kindle Fire is just a vehicle to have more people identify with an already impressive brand. Furthermore, Amazon doesn't release sales figures for their Kindles, so this whole story is just speculation..(from a website called Appleinsider, no less) Consider the source. Amazon is threatening Apple too because of their multifaceted capacities to serve not only the demand for digital content, but also the kitchen sink. 

Perhaps you've missed the entire thing that happening here? This is not an Appleinsider story. It's the quarterly report from IDC. This story is being reported elsewhere.
post #25 of 107

What a totally unbiased article! NOT! When will Apple fans get over this jealousy of the Kfire? LOL!

post #26 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post



Is't that where lots of people go to buy Apple stuff?

It's amusing to note that Amazon is also where a lot of Apple buyers go to buy their stuff, as Apple products are always at the top of, or very near the top of the Amazon best seller lists in any category where Apple makes a product that Amazon sells.
post #27 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Shipped vs sold... I think the iPad’s doing even better than these numbers make it sound.

 

(And then there are return rates. I wonder if Target is dropping the Fire because of high return rates?)

 

Can't return what wasn't bought. According to Target folks were coming in, checking out the Kindle and then ordering from Amazon cause it was cheaper. And Amazon has been encouraging that behavior. 

 

And going with that is that typically channel sales are final on electronics. So Target can't return what customers don't buy. So they are cutting their losses now. 

 

Combine this with perhaps better than average returns by what few customers they had in exchange for something else and it's easy to see why Target doesn't want the Kindle in their stores. Compared to the iPad which is often only returned because someone wants a different storage size or wants the 4g etc. 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #28 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Phillips View Post

What a totally unbiased article! NOT! When will Apple fans get over this jealousy of the Kfire? LOL!

Well, this is the second funny troll post of the thread! Apparently, trolls have a third grade reading level, as they can't seem to understand where the information for this article came from.
post #29 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
Well, this is the second funny troll post of the thread! Apparently, trolls have a third grade reading level, as they can't seem to understand where the information for this article came from.

 

One post; he obviously created the account just to troll.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #30 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

 

DaHarder flat out wanted a Kindle Fire.

 

He's also the only person in the world that personally owns a 100 cellphones & 40 tablets.  Any surprise he wanted one.  

 

To each their own & what a man does with his hard owned money is his business.. but I've never understood it.  I guess he wants to be his own tech-blog.

post #31 of 107

so that isights.org article  story was wrong? who whudda thunk.

post #32 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daekwan View Post

Cant believe this is even a surprise.  I know individual experience is never a true indicator of market demand.. but I've literally NEVER heard someone say that they flatout wanted a Kindle Fire. 

 

I wanted one and I bought a refurb for $139 w/free shipping.  Amazon Video and NetFlix is great for the kids.  I just have to disable purchases on it before I hand it to them.

 

I've seen lots of kids with their mom's Kindle. 

post #33 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post
I've seen lots of kids with their mom's Kindle. 

 

No, you're wrong. Parents don't give their kids their devices. They also don't give them their passwords. You don't have to disable purchases at all. Let them buy what they want with your device and then sue Amazon for letting them do it.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #34 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I have a different take on this, something which I've suspected from the start.
Anybody can fool a buyer with slick marketing and a rubbish product. However, once bitten, consumers generally don't make that mistake again.
I expect to see something similar happen with Android phones in the next year or so as well as technical issues, bad customer service, lack of updates, and scarcity of quality apps make their mark on all the suckers buying them now.
And I'd love to know the return rates on Android devices too...

 

Rapid sales gains in phones and tablets have been a matter of signing up new adopters, to date.  That means most of the people buying these devices are likely to be at least somewhat impressed by them, in that they've never owned anything similar.

 

For phones, that means that even a worse than average Android handset is going to please, at first, if it can successfully get online, handle email, surf, text and playback media.  Ditto tablets, for now. But we're rapidly running out of those customers, at least in the US and Europe.  Smartphone adoption numbers will probably start to slow within a year or so as we reach something like 75% ownership, with the last 25% representing the kind of people that will be very slow to adopt new tech, if they ever do.  Even today there are plenty of people with dialup internet (if any), no cable, CRT TVs (if any) etc.  Tablets are still on the steep ramp-up part of the curve, but they're likely to start to saturate at lower total number than smartphones, since they lack the almost necessary utility of a phone.

 

So very soon now, if not already, most smartphone buyers in the US and Europe (with other countries shortly to follow in order of affluence/demographics) will be aware of the limitations of their chosen platform and be a little more informed when it comes time to re-up.  We already know that Apple has astronomically high customer satisfaction levels; it seems very unlikely that any significant numbers of the millions of customers that Apple is adding will be inclined to abandon the iPhone (or iPad down the road).  I don't think the same can be said of Android, although obviously they don't have a mass defection problem on the order of Symbian or RIM.  

 

Tablets will take a little while yet to reach the same levels of "informed" buyers, but it's happening even faster than smartphones did.  I'll be very interested to see how sales numbers play out over the next few years.  I think that will give us a more accurate representation of what people like, rather than what people guessed at or were told.

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post #35 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattBookAir View Post

Yeah, Kindle did well for Xmas, since it's appealing as a gift (cheap, but a recognizable brand). But people who want a tablet for themselves, want - and are prepared to pay for - an iPad. Amazon may pull it off again this Xmas, with a larger screen model, but I don't think it'll have the same effect and it'll be splitting the "non-iPad" market with google this time. Apple with dominate while cheap android tablets fight each other for table scraps.

In other words, Kindle Fire is the new fruitcake.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Shipped vs sold... I think the iPad’s doing even better than these numbers make it sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Estimates of tablet market share vary so wildly, (and vary even day to day from the same sources), that it's really not worth reporting these stories except as "guestimates." 

 

It's much like the 'smartphone' estimates. Two different analysts came up with approximately the same number for Samsung's total phone shipments, but varied dramatically on their estimates of Samsung smartphone shipments. Apparently, one included a wider range of phones than the other.


Same thing is presumably happening in tablets. I would argue that the original Kindle was not a tablet computer, yet some of the analysts seem to be including it. Furthermore, I would suggest that comparing a 5" Dell Streak to a 10" iPad is a useless comparison. At the high end where they compete, Apple has an overwhelming market share. I doubt if Apple cares very much about people who are buying $79 Kindles as gifts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

 

 

Galaxy Tab return rate as high as 16%, researcher says

 

Some speculate many returns are due to Froyo's inability to fully run Android apps on 7-inch screen

 

February 1, 2011 05:47 PM ET
 
 
 
 
 

 

Computerworld - Since Samsung's Galaxy Tab tablet debuted in the U.S. in November, return rates have been as high as 16%, said ITG Investment Research, which tracked sales at nearly 6,000 wireless stores.

 

Don't say that too loud. Gatorguy and zzzz will go into a coma.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

 

I wanted one and I bought a refurb for $139 w/free shipping.  Amazon Video and NetFlix is great for the kids.  I just have to disable purchases on it before I hand it to them.

 

I've seen lots of kids with their mom's Kindle. 

 

The Kindle products are great products. I know a couple of people who own them simply as e-readers. If that's what you're looking for, they're hard to beat, especially the e-ink models. But if you're looking for a tablet, even the high end Fire leaves a lot to be desired.

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post #37 of 107

Kindle Schmindle.    It is an inexpensive e-reader and that's about it.  It does have a decent screen to read books and magazines outside, but that's about it.

 

I am not surprised the Kindle isn't selling very well anymore.  Computer products that are made and designed by companies that don't really specialize in these types of products have a difficult time being taken seriously for the long term.  They might sell OK at first, but over the long term, they don't.  I am actually surprised it sold as well as it did.

 

It reminds me of Shaper Image and Brookstone private label products.  They have limited appeal.

 

Actually, IMO, I don't take computer, smartphone, tablet companies that don't design their own OS that has a track record.  Because the company that makes the hardware is also responsible for supporting the Operating System and if they didn't develop the OS, then the customer service and support levels most likely won't be very good.  I mean, even most of these Windows computer mfg don't even design their own motherboards as they just buy Intel or some other mfg motherboard and that's basically the main guts of the system.

 

The only thing that HP, IBM, Sun that I will take on any serious levels are their high end Unix based servers, because at least they develop a large portion of the OS, it is just boils down to which one makes the best hardware/software combination.  But then again, I don't buy high end Unix servers for my home.

 

Apple just needs to get and retain really good talent for development of their products and always strive for improvement to always provide the best products they can.  Unfortunately, there are too many computer geeks that think they are an expert and choose to assemble their own systems together when they usually spend more time tinkering with or playing games with their computer rather than using it for serious applications.   They usually end up spending more time (which they don't calculate that into $$s they need to add to the price of the computer). 


Edited by drblank - 5/3/12 at 12:45pm
post #38 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by poke View Post

I thought this would happen. Kindles are gift items. I bet that's why Amazon doesn't report sales. They only sell in significant numbers during the holidays. They're also essentially only good as e-readers, a market that I think is fast approaching saturation.

 

Good being relative even in that context - if I want to read on an LCD, I'd be crazy to do it on something less than the iPad Retina display. If I want to read on just an e-reader, I'd go to the e-ink models... Which kind of leaves the Kindle Fire / Nook Color class device as odd-man-out.

 

(I understand that Apple is competing with the lower price tablets by keeping the iPad2 in play, but 4x the screen for an extra $99 (or 25% for the base model) is crazy to pass up. IMHO and all that, but I'd rather I or my kids read on the screen that isn't going to leave me wishing I'd now skimped.)

post #39 of 107

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CNN: Obamacare largest tax increase in American history

 

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post #40 of 107

Whaa?? I thought it was a copy.
 

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