Data & Research

Apple iPad pushes Kindle Fire out of the picture in Q1 2012

That's despite a shipment slip, notes IDC

Apple iPad pushes Kindle Fire out of the picture in Q1 2012
The low price approach Amazon adopted with Kindle Fire may have been lauded as the only way to take on Apple's iPad in recent months, but figures from IDC suggest its impact has actually been limited.

Numbers taken during Q1 2012 suggest Kindle Fire lost market share across the quarter after a 'storming' start, dropping from just under 17 percent in Q4 2012 to 4 percent now.

Interestingly, this comes on the back of slowing iPad shipments from Apple, which actually managed to increase its share from 54.7 percent to 68 percent in the latest quarter.

No ousting Apple

In all, Apple shipped 11.8 million iPads in Q1 2012, down from 15.4 million in Q4 2011.

"Apple reasserted its dominance in the market this quarter, driving huge shipment totals at a time when all but a few Android vendors saw their numbers drop precipitously after posting big gains during the holiday buying season," said research director Tom Mainelli.

"Apple's move to position the iPad as an all-purpose tablet, instead of just a content consumption device, is resonating with consumers as well as educational and commercial buyers.

"And its decision to keep a lower-priced iPad 2 in the market after it launched the new iPad in March seems to be paying off as well."

Nonetheless, IDC says it expects a bounce back from Android tablets as a whole, thanks to the likes of Samsung and Lenovo- both of which are "beginning to gain traction" with their respective offerings.

The price is (still) right

Indeed, though Kindle Fire may be suffering now, Mainelli believes offering Android tablets at a low price is the best way to take on Apple.

"It seems some of the mainstream Android vendors are finally beginning to grasp a fact that Amazon, B&N, and Pandigital figured out early on: Namely, to compete in the media tablet market with Apple, they must offer their products at notably lower price points," Mainelli added.

"We expect a new, larger-screened device from Amazon at a typically aggressive price point, and Google will enter the market with an inexpensive, co-branded ASUS tablet designed to compete directly on price with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

"The search giant's new tablet will run a pure version of Android, whereas the Fire runs Amazon's own forked version of the OS that cuts Google out of the picture."

In all, 17.4 million tablets were shipped during Q1 2012, up 120 percent from the 7.9 million shipped during the same period in 2011.

[source: IDC]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.