updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
comScore shows Kindle Fire propping up Android
Amazon's Kindle Fire now makes up the absolute majority of the Android tablet platform in the US, comScore found in a fresh study. The e-reader and tablet crossover represented 54.4 percent of all Android tablets sold in the country. At second place, the entire Samsung Galaxy Tab lineup comprised just 15.4 percent of Android slates.
No other manufacturer got above 10 percent, with Google's reference tablet, the Motorola Xoom, stopping at seven percent. Despite its size as a company, Sony only netted 0.7 percent for the Tablet S.
The share was a virtual doubling of the Kindle Fire's stake from December and had seen every other manufacturer's share shrink as a result. Researchers didn't attempt to explain the shift, but the increasing bias suggested that the $199 price was again the determining factor and that devices trying to compete more directly in the iPad's price and category sold in low numbers.
For Google, the findings pose extra problems as it moves towards the low end. Although publicly content to let the Kindle Fire succeed, Google now faces a situation where the most popular Android tablet goes without not just Google's official interface but the Google Play Store and other services the company depends on to make money from Android. A rumored 'Nexus' tablet may be priced at the same level to undermine Amazon.
Alongside Android tablet share, comScore discovered that those with small tablets were much more likely to use the web. Where someone with a seven-inch tablet like the Kindle Fire or a five-inch crossover like the Dell Streak or Samsung Galaxy Note typically looked at no more than 90 pages, those with a larger design like the 9.4-inch Tablet S or the 9.7-inch iPad looked at 116 or more. The gap suggested that the willingness to see content, including beyond the web, was directly linked to screen size.