#kindle fire

Speaking of Amazon and Kindle sales, the latest comScore numbers say that the Kindle Fire now controls 54% of the Android tablet market. Far more than any Google-branded tablet.

That’s a big win for Amazon, so it must finally be time to announce actual sales of the device, right? 

Wrong.

Amazon:

Kindle Fire remains the #1 bestselling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com since launch.

Got it.

Kevin C. Tofel of GigaOm:

Priced at $199 to $299, the Kindle and Nook don’t likely compete against the iPad when it comes to a purchase decision. Meaning: sales of these aren’t hurting the iPad much, if at all. The same can’t be said of the true Android tablets, which are still struggling to find an audience.

You don’t say…

John Gruber on the ridiculous assertions that Apple should be worried about Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 strategy for tablets and Amazon’s strategy for the Kindle Fire:

This is a recurring theme. Someone does something different than Apple, has some success with it, and pundits like Kingsley-Hughes start arguing that Apple needs to change course and do what the other guys are doing. Exhibit A: the Kindle Fire. It’s selling well — nowhere near as well as the iPad, mind you, but it’s not collecting dust in warehouses like most other tablets are — prompting some to argue that Apple “must” release a $250 7-inch tablet too.

See also: netbooks. Remember, Apple absolutely had to make a netbook or they would be toast.

Apple didn’t, the market for netbooks collapsed, and Apple looked like geniuses for not doing what the pundits said they needed to do just months earlier. 

Just to follow up, Amazon has released their numbers. As expected, net income doesn’t look great — $177 million, down 58 percent year over year. But at least it’s not a loss (which Amazon had warned it might be).

That $177 million is on sales of $17.4 billion. Crazy. That’s what low margins — and selling hardware at a loss — will do to you.

Speaking of 177, that’s also the percentage that Amazon says Kindle sales increased during the holiday period when compared to the previous year — which means basically nothing since Amazon refused to release actual numbers last year. And they still refuse to this year.

Looking forward, Amazon expects profit to be anywhere from $100 million — to a $200 million loss next quarter. Ouch.

To be fair, unlike my earlier statement, Amazon did make more money in the entire quarter than Apple did in one day last quarter, but just barely: $177 million versus around $145 million.

But that’s an average. I’m sure during some of the busy shopping days, Apple actually did make more money in one day than Amazon did for the entire quarter.

Amazon’s profit for all of 2011 was $631 million. As a reminder, Apple made $13.06 billion in profit last quarter. Perhaps not a fair apples-to-apples comparison, but not exactly apples-to-oranges either.

I have no doubt that Google is working on some kind of “Nexus” tablet — they have to be. To say Android’s entrance into the tablet space has been a flop is a vast understatement. Google needs to get on top of this situation. And fast — Amazon, not Google, is leading now leading the “Android” tablet race.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that Google may be targeting the Kindle Fire (and not the iPad) with any flagship tablet they make. While the source of this news is DigiTimes, which has a pretty awful track record when it comes to reporting this kind of stuff, on the surface this makes some sense:

The sources believe that Google will launch the own-brand tablet PC in March-April, featuring a 7-inch panel and Android 4.0 with a price less than US$199 to compete against Amazon.

The problem here is that Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire at or near break-even (they may even be losing money on each unit sold when you consider marketing, etc). And customers are getting what they pay for — a tablet of significantly less quality than the iPad

If Google is going to undercut the $199 price, the hardware is either going to be shit — or Google is going to have to take a significant loss on each one sold. Maybe they do that and say they’ll make it back in search advertising. But there is real money they’re going to have to pay to an OEM to get them to agree to that.

If you consider Eric Schmidt’s quote from last month: ”In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.” — only the latter option makes sense here. There is no way Google releases a tablet of the “highest quality” and sells it for under $199 without taking a loss.

Or maybe Schmidt is just being overly generous in his definition of “highest quality”. Or maybe the DigiTimes story is total bullshit. Impossible to know right now.

What I do know: if Apple aggressively drops the price of the iPad 2 with the launch of the iPad 3, this is going to be fun to watch. 

Anonymous asked:

I want to buy my mother(who isn't tech savy) a tablet. I thinking of getting her a KindleFire but was curious on if you can recommend a few more that I can look into before I make my choice?..

Honestly, get her an iPad. I could waste both of our time looking up what the best (pure) Android tablet out there is right now, but we both know it won’t hold a candle to the iPad — especially if your mother isn’t tech savvy. 

If you don’t mind spending $499 (at a minimum), it’s a no-brainer. iPad 2. If you’re on a budget, I’d probably go with the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet. Or look into getting a used iPad.

Chris Ziegler of The Verge was finally able to clarify (via a source, presumably within Google) what Google means exactly when they give Android activation numbers. Essentially, it’s when you activate Google services on the device.

In other words, Kindle Fire, Nook, etc, don’t count as Android devices by this metric. Seems a bit odd, no? Android is an open ecosystem, but Google only counts you if use their services. 

Sure, you can argue that Google has no way of knowing the numbers for those other Android devices, but they could at least acknowledge them. It’s weird that they don’t given the millions of units this would add overall ecosystem bottom line. 

On the other hand, Google probably doesn’t like what players like Amazon are doing by forking Android. You usually don’t give your enemy a pat on the back. 

Amazon’s December Kindle Sales: Somewhere Between 4 Million And Infinity

This is beyond ridiculous now. Amazon continues to feel the need to boast — and it seems understandably — about their Kindle sales. But they continue to refuse to give actual sales numbers to back up the boasting.

The latest press release says that “Throughout December, customers purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week.” For you non-math majors, that means Amazon has sold at least 4 million Kindles (well, perhaps just 3 million as December isn’t quite over yet, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt).

This is an improvement over “4x of great”, but it’s still oddly obtuse. 

Who knows what “well over” means, I imagine it’s not 2 million, or they’d presumably say that. But who knows? It’s a number definitely south of infinity — I think.

It’s also worth noting that the 1 million+ per week number is spread across the entire line — Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, and the regular Kindle. Amazon says that their sales figures are in that order, but the number everyone wants is the Kindle Fire sales so they can compare it to other Android tablets. And of course, the iPad. 

The latter may be exactly why Amazon continues to skirt around actual numbers (while getting a bit more specific each time). Let’s assume the Kindle Fire doesn’t quite make up 50% of the 1 million+ per week Kindle sales (though again, who knows). Let’s say it has been selling at the rate of 500K units a week. That’s 2 million sold in December. The iPad likely killed that number. It may have beaten that number on one of the big single shopping days alone.

I view the Kindle Fire and the iPad as different devices and so do many people. But as tablets, they’re inevitably going to be compared. And I think it’s fair to think that many people bought one instead of the other this holiday season. With that in mind, Amazon probably wouldn’t want to release concrete numbers that get blown away by a competitor. Especially when the competitor is selling their device for $300 more. 

So kudos on your vaguely awesome sales Amazon. I bought a Kindle Touch and I love it. I’m sure the other 100,000 to 2 million customers that bought one feel the same. 

Marco Arment:

One of the biggest draws to the Android platform, the “open” Android Market, has just been sidestepped and made largely irrelevant for tablets. If the Fire sells anywhere near its target volumes, Amazon has hijacked the Android app retail channel for the long term: most sales of Android tablet software will be through the Amazon Appstore, and if your app isn’t there, it’s effectively invisible to the Android tablet userbase.

How long will it be before this effect spreads to the much larger Android-phone market? All it would take is a deal between Amazon and one of the big handset manufacturers to preload the Amazon Appstore, placed more prominently than Google’s Android Market, on all of their phones for a little while. Amazon knows how to play the retail game — it’s their business, and they’re incredibly good at it.

Yup. Yup. Yup.

Close your eyes. Imagine a world where a $200 tablet behaves like a piece of technology that costs… $200. Open your eyes. Say hello to the Kindle Fire.

Remember when everyone was sure that Apple’s tablet was going to cost around $1,000? That was 18 months ago. We’re spoiled. The fact of the matter is that the iPad behaves like a piece of technology that should cost more than $500. Apple set the bar very high.

It’s going to take the competition a while to catch up. With most things in life, you get what you pay for.  

The Kindle Fire reviews are pouring in. Overall, the consensus seems to be that the device is very solid for the $199 price.

But with that low price point come trade-offs. So no, it’s not an “iPad killer”. 

I haven’t played with one yet (aside from a near-complete prototype a few months ago), but I’m gonna hold off on getting one for now. Why? Because I’m fairly certain that Amazon will have a better one out there soon — maybe just a few months from now. 

I did just put in my pre-order for a Kindle Touch though. My Kindle was three years old and accumulating fingerprints from the number of times I tried to turn the page by touching the screen. It was time for a change. 

The most interesting aspect of the Kindle Fire remains Android. This is going to quickly become the most popular Android tablet on the market. But it doesn’t look like Android at all. Google’s fingerprints are nowhere to be found.

Google can say all they want about how that’s a “win” for the ecosystem and for “open” — but this has to piss them off

A few quick thoughts:

1) Barnes & Noble makes fun of the Kindle Fire, noting that it looks like a BlackBerry PlayBook — completely fair and true. The Nook Tablet clearly looks nicer. 

2) But… the Kindle Fire is still at the magical $199 price point, while the Nook Tablet is at $249. The fact that Barnes & Noble wouldn’t match the $199 price shows you just how insanely low that is — and how aggressive Amazon is willing to be to win. 

3) The $50 price gap may not seem like a huge difference but remember that the Nook Tablet also doesn’t have a little thing called Amazon.com and all its related properties.

4) The Nook Tablet specs sound great, but again, it’s $50 more and doesn’t have Amazon.com. Further, at $249, the tablet clearly isn’t going to be good enough to match the iPad. So Barnes & Noble may feel a bit squeezed. They’re not the cheapest and they’re not the best.