Kindle Fire Bites Into 4.7 Million Units of Apple Market Share

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As the Amazon Appstore for Android turns one year old, and moves past the 31,000 applications mark, Amazon announced they sold 4.7 million units of their budget priced Kindle Fire Tablet PC in Q4 of 2011. And while naysayers are quick to point out that Apple shipped 110 percent more tablets during Q4 2011 than one year earlier, for 15.4 million units, the fact that a tablet newcomer sold almost a third as many after being available almost exclusively in the United States, and for only three months, makes the Kindle Fire’s success rather impressive.

Buy the Kindle Fire for $199.

And the symbiotic relationship between the Amazon Appstore for Android and the Kindle Fire has proven most popular to Kindle Fire owners, and successful for many Android developers. Unlike the Android Market, Amazon has strict pricing constraints which make the applications available to the Kindle Fire much more attractive, and that is exactly why developers like game maker Glu Mobile reported an 1,000% increase in revenues from Amazon since the launch of the Kindle Fire.

That is helping Android finally see some positive movement in their efforts to chomp down on Apple’s tasty market share in the tablet arena. They have successfully and continually taken share from Apple in the smartphone marketplace, and these recent numbers indicate their efforts in the tablet marketplace are beginning to pay off. And no doubt Amazon’s unique strategy with their first tablet offering showed that they can buck the trends and instantly become a dominant tablet player. With the majority of tablets arriving in a 10 inch form factor with dual cameras and a microSD slot, the Kindle Fire tablet was red-hot in its debut even though the display is 7 inches, there are no cameras present, and no option for physical storage expansion.

However, Amazon offers free Cloud Storage to all Amazon content downloaded onto the Amazon Kindle Fire, effectively giving the device the most storage capability of any tablet offering. They also debuted the Kindle Fire for a bargain basement price of $199, which at the time was between $150 and $300 less than the typical tablet offering. And for that low retail price, Kindle Fire purchasers still get decent hardware for their money. The Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 chip set includes a 1.0 GHz dual core central processor and PowerVR SGX540 graphics dedicated chip from Imagination Technologies Plc. Those are pretty impressive specs for a sub-$200 dollar mobile device, and just more evidence of Amazon’s aggressive Apple-munching strategy.  Buy the Kindle Fire for $199.

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  1. This alone is why I think Apple will release the rumored 7.85″ iPad. There is a proven market for smaller 7-8″ tablets, and Apple won’t allow other vendors free reign over this market. I’ve used both 7″ and 10″, and I’m much more likely to carry the smaller one with me. Whether they’ll get into the market before the rumored 2nd-gen Kindle Fire debuts though, is still up for debate.

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