updated 05:10 pm EST, Fri January 27, 2012
Flurry says Kindle Fire squeezing Android tablets
Amazon's Kindle Fire is squeezing out other Android tablets for actual use online. New Flurry data shows that the Kindle Fire virtually cut the Samsung Galaxy Tab line's usage share in half, from 63 percent in November to 36 percent in January. Other devices saw a similar squeeze, which mostly came from the Kindle Fire's rampant sales rather than a drop in Android use.
In step with the shift, Amazon was also leading to more actual app use. For every one top paid app a Galaxy Tab owner bought, just over 2.5 apps were bought by a Kindle Fire owner.
Researchers explained the gap as a virtue of Amazon taking a more Apple-like approach to tablets. Rather than adopt the typical Android- or PC-like mentality of focusing on the OS and specifications, Amazon focused on the experience and the content for users. Like Apple, Amazon was making sure that an ecosystem both for developers and for media was well in place. It could tap some of the "virtuous cycle" that Apple had created, where developers wanted to offer support, attracting users who in turn kept developers making more titles.
Amazon controls its own store, and it can not only sell the Kindle Fire at a loss with knowledge it would recoup the money but guarantee the apps it wanted and curate content to work well. Samsung has its own app section, but it usually depends heavily on Android Market, where Google has shown a disinterest in highlighting tablet-native apps and content.
The iPad was deliberately excluded from the immediate example. It still has a much larger share by itself and would have made it more difficult to represent Android-specific changes.