Maybe the Kindle Fire really is the “fruitcake of tablets.”
Worldwide market share for Amazon’s family of tablets dropped to 3.7 percent in the first quarter, according to new data from the IDC research firm, which says the Kindle Fire was the “victim of a highly seasonal product cycle.”
In other words, lots of people are buying the relatively inexpensive Kindle Fires for the holidays, in many cases as gifts, but Amazon is having a hard time keeping up with the rest of the market during the remainder of the year.
Of course, seasonal swings are part of the consumer electronics business, but they have been especially pronounced for Amazon’s tablets, as evidenced by its shifting proportion of the market at different points of the year. By comparison, the company achieved 11.5 percent market share in the fourth quarter, during the peak shopping season, according to the IDC report at the time.
Amazon’s market share in the first quarter was up just slightly from the 3.6 percent in the same quarter a year ago. Over that time period the company has built out the Kindle Fire lineup to include the Kindle Fire HD, with the option of a larger screen. Amazon has also expanded the Kindle Fire tablets into international markets in recent months.
Apple’s iPad led the market in the first quarter with 39.6 percent market share, down from 58.1 percent a year ago, as the tablet market becomes more competitive. Samsung was No. 2 with 17.9 percent market share, followed by ASUS at 5.5 percent, and then Amazon and Microsoft.