Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Three months ago, Amazon looked like it was going to emerge as Apple’s number one rival in the tablet space. Today, it looks like Amazon has a serious problem on its hands.According to data from IDC, Amazon only shipped — that’s shipped, not sold — 696,000 Kindle Fires last quarter. That’s a paltry 4% of the market, and it’s a big drop from the quarter before when Amazon had 16.8% of the market, shipping 4.7 million Kindle Fires.
For context, Apple sold 12.8 million iPads last quarter. That means it sells as many iPads in five days as it takes Amazon to ship Kindles in three months.
Earlier, my colleague Joe Weisenthal suggested a Kindle Fire is like fruitcake. It’s something you get for someone else, not something you get for yourself. Its monster sales in the fourth quarter were boosted by holiday gifts.
That could be true, but there could be a much worse explanation.
People might not like the Kindle Fire. And the first batch of people who bought it were ordering it sight unseen on Amazon. Once they actually got a chance to play around with one they decided it wasn’t for them.
Either way, it’s not great news.
However, if you’re looking for a silver lining, here it is: This is Amazon’s first take on a tablet and the hardware is atrocious. The next version should be significantly improved.