Even though the Kindle Fire was launched in the middle of the quarter, it still managed to steal approximately 2 million units in sales away from the iPad. The original projection was for 16 million units during the whole quarter, but the analysts now think they’ve only sold 13 million, which is 3 million short, out of which they think 2 million were lost to the Kindle Fire and about 1 million to regular Android tablets.
Apple has said before that they don’t believe Kindle Fire will affect their sales at all, but apparently they’ve just been proven wrong. Also, some Apple analysts have even said that Kindle Fire will only crush other Android tablets, and may even increase iPad’s sales, which obviously seems crazy.
If that were true, and no other tablet posed any threat to iPad, no matter its price, then people wouldn’t have gotten out in droves to get the HP Touchpad. The HP Touchpad was the first to show that people want a “good enough” tablet for web, e-mail and some games as long as the price is right.
Even Nook Color proved that a bit more than a year ago, but it was still considered mainly just a reader, and it didn’t even have an app store in the beginning. The Kindle Fire was a lot closer to a real tablet, although still too closed in the Amazon ecosystem. Even so it managed to not only steal sales from iPad, but also expand the market, and sell to people who wouldn’t have bought an iPad in the first place, because of its high price.
This proves there’s a huge market under iPad’s pricing, and it shouldn’t be surprising. Most people don’t want to spend $500, which as as much as some laptops, for a tablet, iPad or otherwise. I only wish Android manufacturers realized this a lot earlier, and by now they would have a market share of at least 50%, just like they do in smartphones.
Fortunately, it may not be too late, and we’re already seeing companies like Asus with their upcoming $250 7″ Android 4.0 tablet, or like Ainovo with their $100 MIPS Android 4.0 tablet, and some others, who are ready to take advantage of this market. If you’d ask me whether I’d choose the Kindle Fire or the Asus tablet, I’d definitely choose the Asus one.