Apple’s CEO Tim Cook sees no real threat from Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet. On Apple’s earnings call on Tuesday, Cook dismissed the Kindle Fire and noted that the iPad’s share continued to gain market share even while numerous Android tablets entered the market. “We’ve seen several competitors come to market to try to compete with the iPad,” Cook explained. “Some had different form factors, different price points. And I think it’s reasonable to say that none of these have gained any traction thus far. And in fact, as all of those competitors were coming to market, our share actually went up, such that in the June quarter, according to IDC, we were responsible for three out of every four tablets sold.” Read on for more.
Cook said he was confident with the products that Apple has coming down the pipeline. The “iPad mini” could be one such product — one that may go toe-to-toe with the Kindle Fire. Rumors have suggested the tablet may be smaller, or at least cheaper, than the current iPad 2. If a cheaper iPad does debut next year, the fight between Amazon and Apple could come down to each company’s respective ecosystem.
“Amazon is certainly a key player,” ISI Group analyst Brian Marshall said, noting that Cook’s statements were “a little dismissive” of Amazon’s presence. “It will be interesting to see how [Amazon will] ramp. But I wouldn’t want to go up against the Apple ecosystem. That’s for sure.” Amazon does have a solid ecosystem itself, however, which includes its own video streaming service, MP3 store, app store, Kindle eBook library and more.
Several analysts have suggested Amazon has a winner on its hands with the Kindle Fire. Strategy Analytics said the online retailer will sell 15 million units through 2013 and Rodman & Renshaw has predicted Amazon will sell 5 million units during the fourth quarter of this year.
If history is any indication, however, Amazon may be facing tough odds. Speaking during the AsiaD conference on Wednesday, Google’s Android head Andy Rubin said there are now just 6 million Android tablets “out there.” Apple sold 11.1 million iPads during the fourth fiscal quarter alone.