What do dropping Kindle Fire shipments tell us?

John Paczkowski for AllThingsD:

According to IDC’s review of worldwide tablet shipments for the first quarter of 2012, Kindle Fire shipments dropped from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 to less than 750,000 units last quarter. From 16.8 percent to “just over 4 percent” global market share is a swift decline indeed, and enough to cost Amazon its second-place spot in IDC’s ranking of tablet vendors. Amazon is now in third place, behind Samsung.

I expect this will help to quell rumors that Apple is putting out a smaller version of the iPad to compete with the Kindle and Nook. It doesn’t seem like consumers have any sustained interest in the Fire.

  • I have an iPad but I also have a Kindle, which I find easier to use for reading. Before Christmas I upgraded my Kindle to the Fire and found it to be awful. The touchscreen was not very sensitive (so I was almost thumping it to make it do anything), the pages would skip backward or forward by several percentage points whilst I was reading and it was heavy.

    After a couple of weeks I gave the Fire to my kids and went back to my old Kindle.

    After my own experience I can see quite clearly why the Fire is failing. My suggestion to Amazon is let Apple work on the tablets (which they do best) and Amazon can instead concentrate on what they do best, good solid e-readers.

    • JohnDoey

      The thing is, the iPad 3 has a sharper screen than your original Kindle. And the iPad 3 can show the 50% of books that are in color and iPad can run PC apps. So in the long term, you end up with an iPad.

  • VGISoftware

    I think its initial apparent popularity was mainly Apple haters and others attracted to “cheap”, ever longing to find something “just as good”, ever longing to find “the best deal.” Hmph.

  • Would one be correct to assume that this drop in sales is significantly greater than can be accounted for by comparison with the Christmas shopping quarter? Paczkowski didn’t make that clear.

    • JohnDoey

      Yes. Fire came out and all other Kindle sales tanked, and then Fire sales tanked.

      Amazon spent 2 years telling their customers that 200 dpi eInk is better than a 120 dpi LCD display, then Amazon shipped a 120 dpi LCD display, and then Apple shipped a 275 dpi LCD on iPad 3. The game is done.

  • Buckeyestar

    That’s because the Fire doesn’t come close to the iPad, it’s an e-reader with tablet functions slapped on. A smaller iPad would be a different animal altogether.

  • Franko65

    See that heap? It’s where they’ll Keep the Fires burning…. Not even a substantial price drop on Apple’s part was neded for this expected drop in sales.

  • Rick Hernandez

    wow alot of iCoksuckers in here

  • JohnDoey

    7-inch tablets are the netbook all over again. The primary selling feature is in pictures and descriptions, 7-inch tablets and netbooks look like their more-expensive, full-size versions. In both cases, when the user gets them home, they are disappointed. A 7-inch tablet has 46% of the iPad screen. It is not enough to show a page without zooming like a phone. So you might as well use a phone. An iPad can show you a full-size Web page, PDF letter page, or the page from a real book like an art book or photography book, not just a paperback. Over 2 years, 10 hours per day, it is worth the extra $200 for an iPad.