When it comes to Android-based tablets, there is no doubt that Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a success (measured by sales), with estimates of their use making up as high as one half of all tablets on that platform in the US. That’s the good news. The bad news, is that according to an analysis done by JumpTap, Amazon’s device went from having 33% of the traffic on its network in January of 2012 down to only 22% as the year progresses (and still declining steadily).
JumpTap bases this information on ad impressions on its network which allows them to see that while the Kindle Fire had iPad rivalling traffic (with Apple’s device seeing 48%) right after the holiday season this past year. Amazon should take a little comfort in knowing they aren’t the only ones at least. The rest of the tablet market isn’t doing very well either (except for the iPad as JumpTap confirms), with the ‘other’ tablet devices only seeing 14% of the ad impressions measured by the company.
So what happened? JumpTap suggests that it may be related to the release of Apple’s third generation iPad. It seems like a bit of a cop-out to say that the iPad is to blame instead of the Kindle Fire being responsible for its own fate.
It may actually be that the Kindle Fire shot itself in the proverbial foot. Initial response for the device was incredible, but limited International availability couldn’t have helped (a huge part of the North American tablet market in Canada still can’t technically get their hands on one). Even more significant though, is the fact that the Kindle Fire really divided tablet consumers between ‘the best you can get without going all the way to an iPad’ and ‘those who bite the bullet and pay the extra money for an iPad’. The second people actually got their hands on a Kindle Fire and realized that the Android platform it runs on is customized, they don’t have full access to the Marketplace for apps like they were anticipating, and the form factor really is quite a bit smaller (and more difficult to use) for any kind of desktop related purposes, I’d bet they start looking toward other tablets.
Plus, Apple kept the iPad 2 around and lowered the price, bridging the divide between price points in at least some small way.