SAN FRANCISCO--Analysts have fueled rumors of an upcoming addition to Amazon’s Kindle Fire family, with the new 9-inch model set to launch later this year.
Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley mentioned the upcoming form factor in his shipment forecast on Thursday noting, “We believe there is an upward bias, particularly from the new 7- and 9-inch models, which we expect to launch in mid-2012.”
Bartley predicted that full-year Kindle Fire shipments would total 14.9 million units, up from a previous estimate of 12.7 million, but still lagging far behind Apple’s iPad sales which reached 15 million units in the last quarter alone.
Strategy Analytics recently reported that global tablet shipments had risen to a record 26.8 million units in the last three months of 2011, up from 10.7 million a year earlier, with Apple still dominating the space with 58 percent market share.
Overall global tablet sales totaled 67 million units in 2011, according to Transparency Market Research. Nevertheless, a new tablet from Amazon due out in the summer, not even a year after the release of the 7-inch Kindle Fire, shows Amazon’s commitment to the space, with other reports claiming a 10-inch tablet is also in the works.
The Kindle Fire does seem to be consuming a bit of Amazon’s more traditional Kindle eReader market, however, with Bartley predicting the Seattle e-tailer would only ship some 24 million units, instead of the previously predicted 28.6 million.
Earlier this month, at DesignCon in Santa Clara, we tore down an Amazon Kindle and compared it to Barnes and Noble's Nook Color. You can watch that video below:
I would love to see consumer research on this, but I think you're right -- price is the biggest driver. I suspect that if you remove the issue of price, a very large percentage of Kindle Fire purchasers would have preferred an iPad.
Low cost may be the reason why consumer buys Kindle Fire instead of iPad. I believe the form factor may have something to do with it. I have heard from multiple friends of mine that they like Kindle Fire for movie and even for the popular Angry Bird game. The reason is simply 16:9 screen size.
To most product management, if the sales fo a product doesn't meet expectation, they wouldn't go for next version. I guess Kindle Fire has met sales expectation. Let's see how the new version go.
Not the Kindle e-reader... the Kindle Fire tablet. It's quite different. I own both a Kindle and a Kindle Fire, and I use them both for entirely different reasons. I can actually see myself "upgrading" to a 9 inch Kindle fire when it comes out, especially if it's priced at way below the iPad. $200 for the Kindle Fire was the perfect price point. I'd pay up to $300 for a bigger version.
I don't get it why Amazon is vying with Ipad for it's e-reader gadget. An e-reader in whatever form cannot displace and Ipad, so it would be better if Amazon instead concentrate on kindle's value to cusotmer as the best e-reader+something.
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