updated 12:50 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2012
Study shows Kindle Fire hurting Android rivals
A rare breakdown of tablet market share by IHS iSuppli has shown that the Kindle Fire may be doing more damage to other Android manufacturers than to Apple. Amazon was estimated to have shipped 3.9 million units in the fall, or enough to get it 14 percent of the market. While this dropped the iPad's 15.4 million units from 64 percent share to 57, other Android supporters lost over a quarter of their own share.
ASUS, whose absolute shipments were down from 801,000 in the summer to 612,000 in the fall, took the worst hit and lost about two thirds of its share to hit just two percent. Samsung saw little gain from the holiday, having shipped just 200,000 more Galaxy Tabs to get 2.1 million; its growth was slow enough to drop it from 11 percent share to eight. Barnes & Noble's Nook tablets saw their own shipments catapult from 750,000 in the summer to 1.9 million in the fall, but its small stake still saw it move up just three points to seven percent.
Year-long, Apple moved 40.5 million iPads, or enough for 62 percent. Samsung at 9.4 percent was still ahead of Amazon through sheer longevity on the market, but Amazon had managed six percent in just 1.5 months.
Researchers speculated that the cap on Apple's share wasn't necessarily or completely the Kindle Fire but, instead, the iPhone 4S. Customers had limited spending money, senior manager Rhoda Alexander claimed, and some customers may have had to choose between buying the iPad and the iPhone. The remark implied a possible rebound in the winter as those who needed to wait a few months could buy later, although the rumored iPad 3 release in March could play a role in any increase.
Long-term predictions showed a possible shift. Amazon wasn't guaranteed market share, since it depended on customers buying into its ecosystem and making it profitable. Regular Android tablets also faced a possible backlash from companies unhappy at the new price floor, some of whom might take the risk of supporting Windows 8 instead.