iPad crushing Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Kindle Fire, a tablet computer version of Amazon.com’s Kindle e-book reader, launched in November last year with a lot of fanfare, but the excitement for Amazon didn’t last very long. Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that the Fire’s market share has dropped drastically to only 13%.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet (image: Amazon)

When the tablet was released, it managed to gain a market share of 54%, with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab at 15.4 percent and Motorola Xoom with 7%. Following its release, users were buying them at a rate of 1-million a week, and eventually settled on 4.7-million units for Q4 of 2011.

“The tablet market in general has been very seasonal. At $199 it (Kindle) was much more of an impulse buy during the holidays. You don’t get much of an impulse buy during Q1,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC’s program vice president.

In comparison, Apple’s iPad shipped 11.8 million tablets and increased its market share to 68% for this year’s first quarter. The electronics manufacturer only had a 58% market share at the end of December last year.

While Apple retained the first spot for the top makers of tablets, Samsung moved into second place on the back of weaker Kindle sales, followed by Lenovo in the fourth spot and Barnes & Noble in fifth position.

The IDC projected that 18.6-million tablets would have been sold by the end of this year’s Q1, but a slow in buying power across the globe only saw the actual figure rise to 17.4 million units. However, the IDC was quick to note that when comparing it to year-on-year figures, there is still an increase in sales, with Q1 of 2012 having a growth rate of 120 percent over last year.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor