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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 106
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


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

  • Reply 2 of 106
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    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?)

  • Reply 3 of 106
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member


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

  • Reply 4 of 106
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    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...
  • Reply 5 of 106
    psych_guypsych_guy Posts: 458member
    "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.
  • Reply 6 of 106
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member


    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

  • Reply 7 of 106

    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.

  • Reply 8 of 106
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,105member


    68% shipped, and likely 98% sales.


     


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

  • Reply 9 of 106
    DaekwanDaekwan Posts: 174member


    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!

  • Reply 10 of 106
    pokepoke Posts: 506member


    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.

  • Reply 11 of 106
    mattbookairmattbookair Posts: 162member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 106
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 106
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member


    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%

  • Reply 14 of 106
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member

    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

  • Reply 15 of 106
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member


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

  • Reply 16 of 106
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member

    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.

  • Reply 17 of 106

    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. 

  • Reply 18 of 106
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,613member

    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. 

  • Reply 19 of 106
    rob55rob55 Posts: 1,255member


    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.

     

  • Reply 20 of 106
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,751member
    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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