Amazon shipped more than 1.2 million Kindle Fire tablets worldwide in the second quarter, up significantly from the first quarter, but strong sales of Apple’s iPad left the Amazon device with a relatively modest slice of the overall market, about 5 percent.

Those are the latest numbers from the IDC research firm, released this morning. The Kindle Fire figures are notable in part because Amazon doesn’t publicly disclose unit sales numbers for its Kindle lineup.

Apple shipped more than 17 million iPads in the second quarter, up 84 percent from the same quarter a year ago, coming in with 68 percent market share. Samsung shipped 2.4 million, up 117.6 percent, for 9.6 percent market share. Amazon came in at No. 3, with 1.25 million units shipped, for 5 percent market share.

Amazon launched the Kindle Fire with 4.8 million units shipped in the holiday quarter of 2011, or nearly 17 percent market share at the time, before slumping to about 700,000 units shipped in the first quarter of 2012, according to IDC data. (Note: Kindle Fire ships only in the U.S. at this point.)

The Seattle company is widely expected to introduce a new Kindle Fire lineup for the fall.

Here’s the IDC chart, showing unit shipments in thousands.


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  • john

    I don’t see the point of the kindle fire. The hardware is heavy and clunky, especially for such a small size. Go with the Google Nexus tablet or iPad – you still get the kindle app if you want. The only thing your missing out on is the Prime video streaming, which Netflix does better anyways.

  • TK

    I think it’s interesting the types of adjectives journalists use to “spin” articles. For example in this article, Kindle’s market share of 5% is described as “a relatively modest slice of the overall market.” But in the yesterday’s post on Windows Phone, you decry the 3.8% market share as “dismal.” I don’t think any Fortune 500 company would be satisfied with a market share of around 5% but why the kid gloves with Amazon?

    • Todd Bishop

      Appreciate the comment. The difference is that Amazon has been in the tablet market for less than a year, and Microsoft has been in the mobile phone OS business for more than a decade.

      • Truthhz

        If you’re going to count Pocket PC, you might as well count Kindle’s launch in 2007. Breaking into carrier controlled phone market is much more difficult than selling a $199 re-badged Android tablet…which Amazon will find out when they launch their rumored phone.

      • guest22

        In fairness, one could stand on their head and look at it from a different angle:

        The tablet market is in it’s infancy, there has been less time for failure and shake out. Nabbing 5% marketshare with a device about 1/3 or 1/4 the price of the early leader should be a no brainer.
        While, the mobile industry (OS) as a whole has had massive shake outs, skewering many “successful” companies (adios RIM, Symbian, Meego?). Yet, Microsoft have been nearly start-up’ish, pivoting, surviving and looking like they may have a reasonably good ’13 — Once upon a time everyone adored Apple for having 5% of the PC market, so if MS can secure 5% of the smartphone market (with a loyal following) that may not be too shabby?
        OK, time to stop standing on my head.

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