This time last year, Amazon’s Kindle Fire was a hot commodity, as it was virtually sold out at almost all retailers. It was also the only 7-inch tablet at a $200 price point. The 2011 holiday shopping season helped Amazon grab nearly 15% of the tablet market from Apple and the iPad, but this year, things are little different.
Amazon is no longer the only company with a cheap 7-inch tablet. While Google has the Nexus 7, also with a starting price of $199, it’s Apple who may have put the biggest dent in Amazon’s tablet sales with its new 7.9-inch iPad Mini. The Nexus 7 is a closer competitor to the Kindle Fire, in terms of specs and size, but it’s Apple’s mini ($329) tablet that is now over $150 cheaper than the larger 9.7-inch iPad, the current market leader. With a recent poll of 1,300 would-be tablet consumers, about 66% said they were interested in the iPad Mini, compared to 7% who wanted the Nexus 7 and believe it or not, only 4% wanted the Kindle Fire. So how has the Kindle Fire fallen from grace after only a year, to become the least desired tablet on the market? Perhaps it’s that Amazon has confused buyers with a Kindle Fire, a Kindle Fire HD and a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 or perhaps it’s Apple’s iPad magnetism that has attracted consumers, who have been waiting for Apple to make a smaller iPad for too long and last year just “settled” for a Kindle Fire.
What ever the case may be, Amazon’s not going to have the stellar holiday season that they’d like or that they “solely” enjoyed last year. Since Amazon doesn’t release exact sales figures for the Kindle Fire, we have nothing to compare against, but I think it’s safe to say, they’re not going to be bragging come January.