Kindle Fire now accounts for more than half of U.S. Android tablets

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When people refer to “Android tablets,” they may soon just be referring to the Amazon Kindle Fire.

According to the latest data released by comScore Thursday, the Kindle Fire captured a 54.4 percent market share among Android tablets sold in the U.S. in February, up from a 41.8 percent market share in January. The only other Android tablet to even crack a 10 percent market share was the Samsung Galaxy Tab line of tablets, which accounted for 15.4 percent of all Android tablets in February. Rounding out the top five were the Motorola Xoom (7 percent), the Asus Transformer (6.3 percent) and the Toshiba AT100 (5.7 percent).

The Kindle Fire has proven to be one of the few success stories for Android tablets, as it sold an estimated 4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. While this is impressive as far as Android tablets go, the Kindle Fire’s sales still paled in comparison with the Apple iPad, which sold around 15 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Even so, market intelligence firm iSuppli said earlier this year that low-cost tablets such as the Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook have knocked down Apple’s total share of the tablet market to 57.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 64 percent in the third quarter of 2012.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet was hyped as the first tablet to give the iPad a run for its money when it was released last year because of its lower $200 price tag, its integration with Amazon’s cloud services and its unique Android interface designed by Amazon. Amazon created a Web browser called Amazon Silk that utilizes Amazon’s cloud capabilities to speed up page load times by tracking your Web browsing patterns and preloading pages you typically visit through Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). In other words, Amazon’s cloud requests your frequently visited pages before you even ask for them so they’re ready to go.

This story, "Kindle Fire now accounts for more than half of U.S. Android tablets" was originally published by Network World.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • Easy shopping for Amazon books, music, videos
    • Smooth integration of cloud and local storage


    • Interface still has some bugs
    • Sluggish performance
    • Not as flexible and versatile as other tablets
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