Kindle Fire cutting into consumer appetite for iPad–survey


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 from a survey conducted by ChangeWave, as reported on a Fortune blog.

Five percent of respondents said they have preordered a Kindle Fire or are very likely to purchase soon, according to the survey. That compares favorably with the iPad 2 launch, when 4 percent of respondents said they were very likely to buy the iPad 2.

Among those five percent, 26 percent said they will delay the purchase of Apple’s iPad.

The survey also says demand for the Kindle Fire, due to launch on November 15 at a price of $199, exceeds that of the iPad 2.

The ChangeWave results are based on a survey of 2,600 respondents conducted in October.

The Kindle Fire is considered the first viable threat to the iPad because it will cost $300 less than Apple’s least expensive model, yet offers many of the attributes of a higher-end tablet. These would include a dual-core processor, a fast Web browser, a relatively high-quality display, and access to lots of Amazon content.

This presents a near-term risk to Apple, said RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, since more than a quarter of those buying Amazon’s tablet are indicating they prefer it to the iPad.

Data provided by market researcher eDataSource last month indicated that the preorders for the Kindle Fire are tracking to exceed one million.

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 14-15 million, Kumar wrote.

Amazon is expected to ship upwards of 4 million Kindle Fire tablets in the current quarter, Kumar said.