The media tablet market shipped 18.2 million devices in 1Q’2012, which represents a 185% YoY gain and a -33% sequential loss in shipments. Apple’s 11.8 million iPad shipments were spurred by the launch of a third-generation lineup and price reduction on iPad 2 models, while Samsung’s 1.1 million shipments returned the vendor to the number two spot after Amazon’s Kindle Fire shipments fizzled entering 2012.
I did see the press release that day, and I passed on the story. While it was potentially an easy way to generate page views, it didn't have enough information to supports the claims made. You see, that press release doesn't actually state how many Kindle Fires were sold. That is, I think, an important detail. All the press release says is that Kindle Fire sales fizzled, and without figures to back that up the statement is meaningless. Without numbers we cannot put the drop in sales into perspective, and there's no way to understand how the analysts reached their conclusions.
So instead I sat back and thought about the press release, and after a couple days I figured out a more accurate way to look at the market (less FUD). While I don't doubt ABI has good data to show a decrease in sales, they've also made it clear that Amazon is still ranking high in the overall market. That would hardly qualify as a fizzle.
The other reason I ignored the press release earlier this week was that we have a similar market report that's only a month old which both agrees in part with ABI Research and gives a much better picture of the market. IDG reported back in the beginning of May that Amazon had shipped 700 thousand Kindle Fires in Q1 2012, down from some millions in Q4 2011.
Okay, that is a major drop, but both reports say that Amazon is in 3rd place worldwide. You could describe that as having fizzled, but Amazon is beating Lenovo, Asus, and everyone else with a single device in a single market. How exactly does that qualify as bad news?
Folks, the Kindle Fire is the second best selling tablet on the world market (after the iPad, of course). I would be thrilled to be able to make that claim about one of my products.