Investment bank Morgan Keegan has lowered estimates of shipped iPads by 3 million units for the last quarter of 2011. The reason for the reduction is that Amazon has sold up to 5 million Kindle Fires, and Morgan Keegan believes that figure may represent 1 or 2 million Kindle Fire purchases that would have otherwise gone to Apple. Wow!
Apple fanboys are downplaying this news, but I’ll bet you that Apple isn’t ignoring it. Why is this news so important? It’s important because it represents a completely new view of the tablet landscape. Up until now, there have been plenty of tablet choices other than Apple’s iPad, but all have flopped. The Kindle Fire is the only Android tablet (in fact, the only tablet on any platform) that has chipped away at Apple’s dominance in this space. Given the tremendous success of the iPad, that’s extraordinary news.
The Kindle Fire won’t ever overtake the iPad in the tablet market, but one can’t ignore the impact it has made. I suspect we’ll see a move by Apple soon to compete with the Kindle Fire. It will be interesting to see what Apple does given that it is not at all familiar with having competition with the iPad. One thing’s for sure; consumers will win regardless of which tablet they choose. Competition drives innovation and better pricing for us all.