google amazon money

Ouch… 54% of all Android tablets in the US have little to do with Android, or at least, to Google’s vision for Android.

According to a comScore report released this week, Amazon’s wildly successful tablet accounts for more than half of the web traffic generated by Americans that tout an Android tablet. On a distant second place, comes the Samsung Galaxy Tab family (yes, the whole family), which accrued a little over 15% of the market. The Motorola Xoom comes third, with 7%, while the rest of the manufacturers boast figures that are close to being statistically insignificant.

Here’s the table if you care to analyze it.

U.S. Market Share of Android Tablets by Unique Devices
Dec-2011, Jan-2012, Feb-2012
Total U.S.
Source: comScore Device Essentials*
% Share of Android Tablets
Amazon Kindle Fire29.4%41.8%54.4%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Family23.8%19.1%15.4%
Motorola Xoom11.8%9.0%7.0%
Asus Transformer6.4%6.2%6.3%
Toshiba AT1007.1%7.0%5.7%
Acer Picasso6.0%5.2%4.3%
Acer Iconia2.8%2.6%2.1%
Dell Streak2.2%1.7%1.3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K10.7%0.9%1.2%
Sony Tablet S0.9%0.8%0.7%

As you can see, the Kindle Fire took the States by storm (uh, firestorm?) at the end of last year and in the first quarter of 2012, taking the crown in the most categorical manner possible.

If I read the figures correctly, only Lenovo was able to increase its market share, going from a tiny 0.7% to a puny 1.2%. Interestingly, we also see a crystallization of the market – if in December 2011, the Other category accounted for almost nine percent of the market, in February, the collective share of all other tablets has plummeted to 1.6%. This probably because the Other category comprises the cheapest slates, the price range where the Kindle Fire is the uncontested (yet) king of the hill.

comScore’s survey brings us to one of Google’s biggest problems these days – it doesn’t control (and it makes virtually no money from) the hottest Android tablet on the market. Amazon’s  heavily modded Android is nothing like Google’s Android, and most worrying for Page and Co, it doesn’t integrate Google’s money-making products.

This essentially has Google playing the role of a benefactor that kindly gives away his (hers, its?) time away for the sake of the community at large, without any profit. A nice story, yes, but little to show to the investors.

This is precisely the reason why Google is so keen to come with an amazingly cheap tablet of its own, this summer. As many have speculated, Google’s Nexus tablet (or whatever it will be called) has little to do with the towering giant that is the iPad. It’s rather a weapon meant to be used in a civil war, against the Android-running Kindle Fire and the slew of new slates that Jeff Bezos is planning for this summer.

Interesting times ahead, don’t you agree?

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