The Macalope Daily: Misfire

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Despite the opinion of Apple executives to the contrary, some seem to think that the Amazon Kindle will have a big impact on iPad sales. The Macalope really doesn’t know how this will play out, but so far the evidence is thinner than an iPad 2.

For starters, there’s the devastating ChangeWave survey that’s been floating around

2,600 early adopters were polled, of which 5 percent indicated they were either very likely to buy a Kindle Fire or had already pre-ordered one. That percentage exceeds the 4 percent who were planning to buy the iPad 1 before its 2010 release.

Right. When tablets were such a hot and proven product line.

Within the 5 percent group, 26 percent said they would delay or put on hold any plans to get an iPad.

So, of the people who were very likely to or had already ordered a Kindle Fire, 5 percent—a total of 130 people—were holding off on buying an iPad.


Did the people waving this survey around actually read it?

This isn’t the first exercise in histrionics about the prospects for an Apple product that ChangeWave has undertaken. Nor would it be the first time that the firm was on the wrong side of a trend. What’s the point of putting out a survey if no one links to it?

Which brings us to our old pals at Retrevo who want in this game, too. Their results say a whopping 44 percent of people interested in buying a tablet would consider the Kindle Fire instead of an iPad!

This survey was of 1000 people, 69 percent of whom said they were tablet-curious—which means that all of 304 people surveyed said they’d consider a Kindle Fire. Meanwhile, 12 percent said “If you bother me again while I’m standing in line at this Apple Store trying to buy an iPad, I’m calling security” and another 44 percent said “Kindle whatnow?”

It’s not just survey monkeys (not affiliated with Survey Monkey, void where prohibited) predicting Kindle Fire doom for the iPad, as CNet’s Brooke Crother’s explains:

Two research notes today suggest that Amazon’s forthcoming Kindle Fire tablet might slow the heady sales growth of Apple’s iPad.

The first is the aforementioned ChangeWave survey. The second is even more dubious:

And a separate report today from Rodman & Renshaw’s Ashok Kumar claims that iPad momentum is slowing. “Our checks indicate that production volumes have been scaled back due to moderating sell-through. We estimate that iPad volumes in the current quarter will be 12-13 million units,” down from previous estimates of 14 million to 15 million, Kumar wrote.

Hmm. Ashok Kumar. Ashok Kumar. Where has the Macalope heard that name before?

Oh, right, he’s the guy who said a whole mess of ridiculous stuff about the iPad over the last two years that was all flat-out wrong: 7-inch screen, would launch with 3G support from Verizon, would be a “niche product,” etc., etc.

So, let’s just take it as writ that the word of Ashok Kumar and $2.50 at Starbucks will not even get you a cup of coffee, because the barista would be like “Word of Ashok Kumar? You get the hell out of here.”

Hey, the Macalope doesn’t know how many buyers the Kindle Fire will siphon off from the iPad. There has to be some real overlap between people interested in the iPad and those interested in the Kindle Fire. Heck, the Macalope is mildly interested in the Kindle Fire (although he’d never buy one instead of an iPad, just in addition to).

So far, however, there really hasn’t been much to dispel the notion that these are mostly two separate types of tablets.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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