More than half of all Android tablet activations in the US come courtesy of the Kindle Fire, the multimedia tablet released last year by Amazon. So says comScore, which released a report this week showing that the Kindle Fire accounted for 54.4 percent of all Android tablet sales – that compared to a meager seven percent share for the Xoom and 15.4 percent for the Samsung Galaxy Tab line.
"Within the Android tablet market," comScore reps wrote in a statement, "Kindle Fire has almost doubled its share in the past two months from 29.4 percent share in December 2011 to 54.4 percent share in February 2012, already establishing itself as the leading Android tablet by a wide margin."
As PC World notes, there is a major caveat here: comScore did not include the Android-powered Nook Tablet and Nook Color from its report. The reason? ComScore says those devices are e-readers, not tablets. Still, the import of the figures is clear: When consumers pick up Android tablets, they generally don't pick up the higher-end models such as the Galaxy Tab.
Instead, they pick up bargain-priced, accessible, (mostly) full-featured tablets such as the Fire. Obviously, part of the math here has to do with the Fire itself. The Amazon device plugs into the Amazon ecosystem, and that's no small thing. But the comScore report may also represent a way forward for tablet manufacturers that are not Apple.
Instead of trying to go toe-to-toe with the iPad, these companies can undercut the iPad on price, and offer an alternative tablet experience.
A final note here about the tablet market in general: It's still very much dominated by Apple. According to a report released by Forrester last month, about 73 percent of the tablet market belongs to the iPad, with all other competitors, including Google's Android and RIM, jostling for the scraps.