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Kindle Fire to consume half of Android tablet biz

Three vendors in 2012: Apple, Amazon and 'others', says analyst

Amazon Kindle Fire e-book tablet

Amazon's Kindle Fire will account for half of the Android tablets bought in 2012.

So says Robert Cihra, an analyst at US financial services company Evercore Partners.

He didn't indicate whether that's a global or US only figure - the Fire is, for now, only available in the States - but presumably the latter.

Cihra attributes the Fire's success to its low price: it is "the only tablet to so far mount any credible iPad challenge… by selling at cost", Forbes reports.

Don't forget: a low price pushed HP's defunct TouchPad tablet to the top of the non-Apple tablet sales chart recently.

"Amazon’s success may just vaporise other ‘for profit’ Android tablet OEM roadmaps," Cihra forecast.

He's not the first to say so. Last month, US market research company ChangeWave found that punters had largely turned their backs on Android tablets from firms other than Amazon in the run up to the Fire's sales debut.

Amazon is perceived to be so on the verge of tremendous success in the tablet arena that some pundits have forecast many PC vendors will quit the tablet market, leaving it to Apple and Amazon.

As for the Fire's threat to the iPad, forget it. Yes, Cihra reckons Apple will ship 1m fewer tablets during the current quarter than he used to: 14m, down from a previous forecast of 15m. But that's the result of "channel inventory reductions heading into March's iPad refresh", he believes.

"Apple goes on as the only vendor able to cream off the most profitable segment of each market it targets, whether tablet, smartphone or PC," Cihara concluded. ®

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