Will the new Kindle threaten the iPad?

Apple's tablet has had a virtual lock on the market, but enthusiasm for Amazon's new Kindle Fire could change that.

By Kim Peterson Nov 9, 2011 4:44PM
Amazon's (AMZN) highly-anticipated Kindle Fire debuts next week, and sales will undoubtedly be red hot.

But are those sales cutting into purchases of Apple's (AAPL) iPad? It looks that way, based on one new study. The survey, conducted by ChangeWave Research and RBC Capital Markets, found that 26% of people who plan to buy a Kindle Fire say they are delaying buying an iPad.

Post continues below.
The results are interesting, especially considering that the Kindle Fire and iPad are very different -- so different, in fact, that many analysts assumed there wouldn't be direct competition between them.

The iPad has cameras, 3G connectivity, a microphone and an accelerometer. The Kindle Fire does not. The iPad has 140,000 apps. The Fire does not.

But where the Fire does come out ahead is on price: $199, compared to $499 for the cheapest iPad.

The differences between the iPad and the Fire will become more stark once people get their hands on Amazon's device and the reviews roll in. But just the idea of a cheap tablet that can play music, games and streaming movies -- and, in all likelihood, play them very well -- is giving some potential iPad owners pause.

There's one more interesting nugget from ChangeWave's study. About 5% of respondents had already ordered a Fire, and 12% said they were somewhat likely to buy it. That's a bit more enthusiasm than the original iPad received in 2010. A similar study back then showed that 4% were likely to buy an iPad and 9% were somewhat likely.

"The research from ChangeWave suggests that the iPad is about to face a tough competitor," writes Mashable's Zachary Sniderman. "In fact, the Kindle Fire may pose a serious challenge to the iPad's market share."

Nov 9, 2011 7:06PM
I wouldn't buy a iPad because of the cost, but I'm considering a Fire.  All I want to do is read books and maybe stream some video when I travel.  Why pay $500 for that?
Nov 9, 2011 7:21PM

The Fire will be a winner for three reasons: First, it is much lighter than the Apple IPad2.  Secondly, it will succeed precisely for the reason many Apple lovers keep on insisting it will fail - 3G.  No 3G means the user will save a minimum of $15.00 bucks a month that Apple charges for its cheapest service. That’s 180 bucks a year.  Wireless is everywhere for free.  Free is good and in these times free is good for the pocket book. Thirdly, its much much cheaper.  Oh, and the fact it has no camera – who cares.  I have yet to see someone hold up an IPad and take a picture. 

Nov 10, 2011 1:08PM

People keep saying that the ipad can do so much more than the Kindle Fire.


Besides talking pictures (which is ridiculous with an iPad to begin with) it's an android table that has hundreds of thousands of apps.


I think that the Kindle Fire will expose to the world just how overpriced an iPad really is.


Nov 9, 2011 5:23PM
bout time someone broke apples monopoly....
Nov 9, 2011 8:18PM
Amazon will sell millions of its Fire tablet, I ordered 1.  Will Amazon sales affect Apple is I guess a story that some are interested in but it is not the good story.  The good questions are: How many Amazon Fire purchasers will sign up for Prime Service and How many additional books and movies will Amazon sell.  

The story is not about devices but rather the generation of sales.  I see Amazon as a big winner and Apple a victim of its own strategy.
Nov 9, 2011 6:25PM
I really do not believe the Fire, or the new Nook for that matter, will have that big of an impact on iPad sales. Those people that are opting to purchase the Fire probably were not going to be able to afford the iPad in the near future anyway. I do believe though that the Fire will cut into the iPod's market share. I had a choice of getting a Fire or iPod for my daughters birthday and have opted for the Fire because of the screen size, cost point, and the new features that Amazon has added for it's book sharing/borrowing. The size of the Fire is going to be a better fit for her than the iPod and make reading a lot easier for her. Only time will tell whether or not Apple will suffer because of another tablet being introduced. As my wife and I each have an iPad, a 1 & 2, it will be interesting to compare the three tablets when we receive the Fire.
Nov 9, 2011 9:41PM

Well, I would never own an Ipad, but I am getting a Fire. 

Can't trust apple.

Nov 9, 2011 6:25PM
If you want to break the "monopoly", build a better product.
Nov 10, 2011 11:52AM
I own the original iPad.  I just went out and bought a asus transformer.  I got the 32 gig for $389 with tax rolled in.  The transformer blows the original iPad away.  Friend has an iPad 2 and it is as good if not better than his.  I got Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and You Tube as well as Hulu Plus.  It also has Amazon Kindle App and the Amazon App Market.  I will not buy an over priced Apple product again.  And yes I know the new Android tablets are coming out.  I did my research and for the money this was the one to buy.  As for the Kindle Fire, if I had not wanted this Asus I would have bought that or the new Nook Color.  I just don't want a 7 inch tablet.  Maybe for christmas I will get one as a gift.  Sure hope the wife is watching.
Nov 10, 2011 5:37PM
kindle fire best cuz its a size of a book than ipad all big and ugly:)
Nov 10, 2011 5:19PM
Nov 10, 2011 6:56PM
Naw... in my opinion, Apple's iPad, and Amazon's Kindle Fire are in two different markets. If yoU place them in the same market, the iPad is the BEAST in comparison... we claim we want peace, yet, we are always forcing the consumer base to fight over this or that... PLUS, Apple is going to turn the corner and PULL away............ >>>>>>>>>>>>> again, and, again... >>>>>>>
Nov 10, 2011 12:56PM

Before you buy a Amazon "Fire" have a look at the Barnes & Noble "Nook Tablet", much better product. Why buy a device where you're locked in to a particular company? With the Nook you can get books from everywhere (even Amazon, with a third-party software conversion) even FREE from your local library. Ordered my Nook Tablet yesterday.


Nov 10, 2011 5:54PM
Has anyone noticed that Amazon themselves are not selling the iPad2. You can find them from 3rd party sellers, but that is it. It looks like Amazon is trying to make us buy their product. As far as I go, I am looking for a tablet of some sort, but I am waiting until the reviews for the Fire and the Nook before I will buy any of them.
Nov 10, 2011 5:41PM
Consumers do not yet have their hands on the Kindle Fire yet. How can we comment on how it does or doesn't stack up. Let's withhold opinion at least until it is released next week!
Nov 10, 2011 5:22PM
Anyone who would buy a Kindle fire over a NooK, expecially over the new Nook Tablet has never done any research or seen them in action in any way shape or form.  The fact that the Kindle only uses AZW files to read from and not ePUB blows it off the list, not to mention a few other things like not having a memory card slot.  As for impacting the iPad sales, I can buy nearly three Nook Tablets for the price of one equivalent iPad and the Nook is open source and the iPad is not.  That speaks for itself.  If you add on the Androind operating sytem to the Nook color along with the cheap price and the fact that it has the micro card slot avaialable, there is only one choice. 
Nov 10, 2011 1:36PM
Have put a stop to giving free opinions on these comment lines.  I think the Internet should pay us for the use of our comments since they are our intellectual property.  But I had to answer this as anIPad owner.  I have spent several years building up my book library and my apps and music on iTunes.  the fire may be cheaper, but the reason is that it will not carry the stuff you already paid for.  Plus it does not have the memory of the Ipod touch or ipad.  And People should know that Amazon bought out the best reading App, Stanza, and promptly killed it so they would have no competition for their app.  Also, Amazon has tried to keep people from removing the DRM from their kindle book files so the books you paid for can't be converted to other formats to protect your library should Amazon ever go under.  Finally, Amazon will not ship kindles to military APO 's, which is disrespectful to our military.  iPads are sold right in our local military exchange store.  The competition will make Apple prices come down.  I will enjoy my IPad and keep it updated until I see reason to change.  The extra money is well worth the extra memory and knowledge that I have a well produced, established product.
Nov 10, 2011 4:54PM
People who want an e-reader will buy a Kindle or Nook. People who want a tablet will buy an iPad! They are two different platforms: Kindle/Nook are web capable e-readers and the iPad is a multimedia device that has an e-reader function amonst all of the othe features it has! This is like saying bicycle sales are cutting into motorcycle sales!!!
Nov 10, 2011 2:45PM
When Amazon stops playing catchup with the Nook (Color and eInk) then it can talk about catching the iPad. Capabilities are different and I'll support the Apple (who ranks with MS and Google on my dislike scale) for capability. It's two different sets of hardware. Good Marketing does not equal good product.
Nov 9, 2011 6:45PM
An extremely uneducated consumer will purchase the Fire thinking they're getting a low cost Ipad.  Of course the old adage that ignorance is bliss may play well for the Kindle.  If people simply don't realize how little it does compared to an iPad and how different it is from an iPad, they'll probably not miss it.  Its like buying a no frills cell phone vs a smart phone.  Until they SEE what the smart phone does, they won't miss it. 
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