It's common among gadget bloggers to refer to an iPad market and a tablet market as 2 separate things. That might have to change. The Kindle Fire may have just propelled Android tablets up into the iPadosphere. Of course, this might only affect the Kindle Fire, so we'll have to wait and see.
If this demand holds up, we're looking at over 2 million Kindle Fires ordered before it ships in November. That is not only the largest tablet launch in history, it's also more than either the iPad sold in its first month and we might even see the Kindle Fire outsell the 2.5 million iPad 2 sold in its first month of availability.
To put these sales in perspective, the RIM Playbook only sold 250 thousand in its first month and the Motorola Xoom, Google's flagship Android tablet, only sold a 100k.
I think matching the iPad 2 number is a little out of reach, but even so this is a stellar achievement. Amazon might not have unseated Apple as the king of the tablet., but they did give Apple's throne a solid kick. Amazon also knocked aside all existing tablet manufacturers and took a close second place to Apple.
Then again, I'm not so sure that Amazon will keep that position. Barnes & Noble have sold quite a few NookColors since it launched last year (millions, at least), and they have a new tablet coming. The NookColor Acclaim could be the tablet to unseat the Kindle Fire, or at least turn this into a 3 way fight.
BTW, I'm now expecting B&N to launch the Acclaim in the next couple weeks. They need to get the Acclaim out in view before any of the Kindle Fire orders ship. They need to astound all of us before it's too late for them to get our money.