Just a week ago Apple was saying that Kindle Fire is no threat to them, but according to this survey and initial pre-orders for the Kindle Fire, I think it will be. The potential growth for tablets is pretty huge – maybe not as huge as the one for smartphones, where most phones will become a smartphone, so like over 5 billion people will need one, but it’s still pretty big.
This means that Apple’s iPad would’ve had a lot of room to keep growing and dominating this market. But not anymore. Regular Android tablets have already started to put a dent into iPad’s market share, and that was with a poor Honeycomb launch and expensive Android tablets in the first half of the year.
Now that there will be tablets that cost as little as $200 like the Amazon Kindle Fire, or $250 as the Nook Tablet, and up to $500 like the Asus Transformer Prime with the new and improved Android 4.0, I believe the iPad’s market share will drop significantly – under 50% in a matter of months, and under 30% by the end of next year.
Apple is just one company, and no matter how hyped their products are, they can’t change the fact that they can’t command a large portion of the market when there’s a very competitive OS out there can be used by multiple devices. This is why as long as Android competes with iOS in a market, iOS will always end up somewhere under 30% market share.
That’s still a healthy amount, and given Apple’s influence in the industry, a 30% market share is more than enough to keep them alive. But they won’t be dominating. And they shouldn’t either. Apple seems to get very cranky and a bit scary when they completely dominate a market, like how they tried to completely block other tablets from the market. I do think that Apple would be even worse than Microsoft as a market leader in regards to competition and how much they would restrict their customers if there weren’t other strong platforms out there.
The Kindle Fire seems to be surpassing the original iPad numbers, and even if the Kindle Fire doesn’t surpass the iPad 2 in sales, it would still be a great start for Amazon with its first ever tablet. Unlike Apple, Amazon doesn’t already have a track record regarding tablets or a loyal tablet customer base. So if they manage to sell even close to iPad 2’s numbers, it will be a huge win for Amazon, but also for other Android tablet makers, because it will open people’s minds about the idea that there are other good tablets out there besides the iPad. The others just need to tell a good story and a good brand, and they’ll get a strong following, too (see Transformer Prime).