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iPad mini takes a big bite out of Kindle Fire sales this holiday season

Published Dec 19th, 2012 12:05PM EST
Kindle Fire Sales Q4 2012

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Amazon’s (AMZN) first Kindle Fire took the holidays by storm last year. Following a white-hot debut, Amazon’s slate had reportedly taken 14% of the global tablet market in the fourth quarter of 2011 despite being available for only six weeks in the quarter. This holiday season was a different story though, as new entry-level tablets from Google (GOOG), Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Apple (AAPL) gave consumers a number of attractive options they didn’t have last year.

According to Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley, Kindle Fire sales this holiday season are shaping up to come in lighter than had been expected. As a result of hot competition from the iPad mini and other rival devices, the analyst cut his fourth-quarter Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD sales estimates by 25% to 6 million units.

“This is negative for Amazon’s digital ecosystem,” Bartley wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday evening. “Although weak Kindle Fire demand is potentially positive for profitability, it does imply that Amazon is still struggling to compete against Apple, and may even be seeing competition from Google. This could make it more difficult for Amazon to drive incremental purchases of digital media and physical products over the longer term.”

Shares of Amazon were trading up 0.23% at $261.00 during Wednesday’s pre-market session.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.