It’s the post you have all been waiting for (okay, maybe not all of you): analysts such as Morgan Keegan’s Tavis McCourt are predicting that the successful sales performance of Amazon’s Kindle Fire has negatively impacted Apple’s iPad sales. McCourt originally predicted sales of 19 million units and has now revised that figure down to 13 million units.
To Apple’s credit, McCourt actually increased iPhone sales predictions to 29 million, from 27 million and is forecasting 102 million iPhones for the 2012 fiscal year.
It is McCourt’s view that the Kindle Fire is partly to blame, indicating the their sales of 4-5 million units could have dented iPad sales by up to 2 million. I still find this hard to believe. It seems unrealistic to me that somebody out shopping for a iPad (or comparable 10″ full-featured tablet) could be persuaded into the 7″ Kindle Fire. What seems more likely is that the majority of those purchasing the Kindle Fire are doing so because of the affordable price-tag and reasonable feature-set –and never would have purchased an iPad anyway.
Now the beautiful thing about predictions (guesses) is that they can always be revised again (and again) as the winds change and the mood suits. So while McCourt has lowered his sales estimates for iPads to 49 million units, from 54 million, this could change drastically depending on the retail success of the iPad 3 due out later this year.
The statement released by the Morgan Keegan firm does echo the sentiments I’ve always expressed: even 13 million units is a whole lot of units and shouldn’t be disregarded. Apple enjoyed a great deal of success in 2011 and all expectations are for another fantastic year in 2012.
My queries are a little different. I’m curious how the Kindle Fire will do in the long run. Having only hit consumer hands in the last 6-8 weeks the consumer reviews are just starting to trickle in. How long before the device is available in places like Canada? Will there be a Kindle Fire 2 anytime soon? How will the device perform when upgrades to their customized Android operating system are required?
The other big one I’m curious about: how much money are people spending -after the fact- (on apps, accessories, etc.)? How much profit is Amazon making? How much profit is Apple making? I’d sure like to see that comparison.