Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kindle Fire blazes a path into minds of holiday shoppers: survey

Following an earlier ChangeWave survey which showed that the Kindle Fire has made at least a few potential iPad 2 owners put their purchases on hold, comes a new survey published by electronics shopping guide Retrevo.

Retrevo surveyed more than 1,000 consumers last month. Of those, 12 percent said they plan to purchase an Kindle Fire tablet this holiday shopping season, while only 10 percent said they would buy an iPad in the same timeframe. Among those polled who were already tablet owners (any type), 27 percent said they would buy a Kindle Fire, while 20 percent said they planned an iPad purchase.

When specifically asked about purchasing a Kindle Fire instead of an iPad, 44 percent said they would consider it. 44 percent said they did not know enough about the Kindle. 12 percent said that the only tablet they would consider was the iPad.

Interestingly, despite assertions by the late Steve Jobs that tablets with screens less than 10-inches in size are DOA, Retrevo's blog post said that "Perhaps there are a lot of iPad owners who feel the iPad is a tad heavy and difficult to hold in one hand because only about half the iPad 2 owners said the iPad was 'just right.'" Of course, we never hesitate to point out that the iPad and iPad 2 screens are only 9.7-inches in size (ahem), and that to us, the 7-inch form factor of many Android tablets is a lot easier to heft and transport.

Retrevo concludes: "Up until now, no tablet has been able to compete with Apple’s iPad. Operating System confusion and lack of 'tablet' apps on the Android side may have helped keep Android tablets at bay however, the iPad 2 is starting to show its age and the new Kindle Fire is about to make the scene with a very attractive $199 price point."

Apple CEO Tim Cook isn't too worried. He believes that the fact that the Kindle Fire carries a forked version of Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) will just worsen Android fragmentation, killing its chances.

Just as RBC analyst Mike Abramsky said in his research note addressing the earlier ChangeWave survey, Retrevo pointed out that the Kindle Fire has to live up to expectations around battery performance, image quality, video playback, and more, or the future may dim for the 7-inch Kindle Fire and its expected 8.9-inch larger brother.

Amazon.com's Kindle Fire tablet will start shipping on November 15th, and analysts believe fourth-quarter shipments could total as many as 5 million units.

Expansys US


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