Last year, Amazon aggressively entered the tablet industry with its low-priced Kindle Fire tablet. The response to the $199 price tag was phenomenal, with Amazon selling 4.8 million Kindle Fire tablets in quarter four of last year. Those sales numbers were good enough for the Kindle Fire to claim 16.8 percent market share in the tablet industry.
But now, the momentum has faded. In the first quarter of this year, which encompasses January, February, and March, Amazon was only able to sell less than 750,000 Kindle Fire tablets, leaving the online retailer with just a 4 percent stake in the tablet market.
According to IDC’s review of worldwide tablet shipments for the first quarter of 2012, Kindle Fire shipments dropped from 4.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011 to less than 750,000 units last quarter.
From 16.8 percent to “just over 4 percent” global market share is a swift decline indeed, and enough to cost Amazon its second-place spot in IDC’s ranking of tablet vendors. Amazon is now in third place, behind Samsung.
The staggering drop in sales of the Kindle Fire can easily be attributed with the end of the holiday shopping season. Many consumers look to Amazon for purchasing holiday gifts, and many of those people were likely intrigued by the affordable Kindle Fire for under two-hundred dollars. With the Kindle Fire fizzling, the iPad was able to grow on its profound tablet market share lead, up to 68 percent on sales of 11.8 million iPads in the first quarter. It looks like Amazon has “run out of gas” to keep its “fire” going.