Kindle's on Fire, Selling Over a Million Devices a Week
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
December 15 2011 05:08 PM ET
Amazon today (Dec. 15) announced that the company has sold more than a million Kindles each week for the past three weeks. At that rate, combined Kindle sales would top weekly sales estimates for Apple’s iPads, which analysts pin at 964,000 a week on average.
It is not clear from Amazon’s numbers just how many of the Kindles sold were $199 Kindle Fire devices, Amazon’s low-price answer to the iPad, but a spokesperson said that the Fire is the best-selling item on Amazon.com. Analyst firm IHS expects Amazon to ship 3.9 million of its Kindle Fire tablets by the end of the year.
What is clear is that there is a market for cheap tablets if Apple’s $500 and up iPads are the standard. Amazon has jumped into second place in the tablet market after just a month since its Nov. 15 launch date. Amazon is expected to capture 13.8 percent of the global media tablet shipments in the fourth quarter, a figure that iPad competitors have not come close to — Apple iPads will secure 65.6 percent of fourth-quarter tablet sales, while Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs will run a distant 4.0 percent, IHS said.
The $200 Fire has expanded the tablet market, putting an ultra-portable device into the hands of Americans who could not bear to buy tablets at nearly three times the price. IHS said the Kindle Fire's rapid ascent will add 7.7 percent to the projected tablet shipments in 2011, which have been revised upward to 64.7 million units over the 60 million units forecast in August.
Rumors have it that Amazon may launch a 10-inch tablet next year, which could command a higher price. In the meantime, Amazon is readying an over-the-air update for its operating system that should improve speed and offer additional privacy.