Kindle Fire to blaze past iPad?

Amazon looks set to provide the first real rival to the iPad
Darren Allan

Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire launches mid-November over in the States, although it’s still unclear when it will appear this side of the Atlantic.

However, analysts are already predicting that Amazon’s heavily customised 7 inch Android tablet is going to achieve some killer sales figures.

JP Morgan considered the Kindle Fire to be a dodgy prospect when it was first unveiled. But an analyst at the firm is now predicting potential sales figures which outstrip Apple’s reigning tablet champion, the iPad.

Douglas Anmuth reckons that the Kindle will shift 5 million units before the end of 2011.

Of course, the Kindle’s predicted sales are just six week’s worth, half a quarter, so if you double that up for a quarter’s worth you get 10 million. A faster selling pace than even Apple’s tablet wonder managed to achieve after this year’s launch of the iPad 2, which racked up just over 9 million sales in its initial quarter.

JP Morgan’s revised estimations are based on pre-order demand, which is reportedly running at up to 50,000 units per day.

Should these figures turn out to be the case, you can bet the tablet world will sit up and notice that a quality device with a truly budget price is what was needed to take on the iPad. Which is what many, including ourselves, have been saying since last year.

Amazon, however, has taken quite a hit to produce and sell its 7 inch tablet at such a low price. The online retail giant announced lower than expected profits, partly due to the cost of pushing the Fire out – with a Q4 profit forecast of effectively nothing – and its stock falling 10% yesterday as a result.

We’ve a feeling the outlook for the future is much healthier, though, particularly if these analyst predictions turn out to be spot on.

That could well, in turn, push Apple to create the much rumoured iPad Mini next year, a budget version of its tablet, in order to stay competitive and maintain its tablet market dominance.

Then again, the budget iPhone theory was also a strong vibe this year which never emerged. That isn’t to say Apple won’t head in this direction eventually on both fronts.

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