Kindle Fire Holiday Sales to Hit Four Million?

Sunday, November 20th 2011. | Internet News

Just one day after Amazon’s Kindle Fire was announced, analysts had already pegged a sales estimate for the device for the holiday shopping season: Roughly 2.5 million Kindle Fires sold in the fourth quarter, representing a dent in the tablet market but nothing that tablet market leader Apple need much worry about.

amazon, Kindle FireNow, how about four million?

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has boosted his estimates of Amazon’s expected fourth quarter sales of the Kindle Fire, partly due to the device’s combination of a low price point – one that Amazon’s actually losing money on with every Kindle Fire sold – and competitive features.

“Overall, we believe the iPad offers a superior user experience to the Kindle Fire, but note that for $200, the Kindle Fire delivers as much or more than many other competitors,” wrote Munster in a November 18 note.

Of course, even in the world of analysts, there’s still disagreement over the ultimate popularity of Amazon’s tablet. Trip Chowdry, an analyst for Global Equities Research, only puts the Kindle Fire’s expected fourth-quarter sales at a cool one million devices. To Chowdry, the Kindle Fire just isn’t an iPad: It packs fewer features, fewer sensors, and lacks the overall excellence in design and function that Apple’s breakaway device has used to sell more than 32 million devices and counting.

“Every indication we have as of right now, tells us that it is very likely that Amazon Fire may end up having the similar fate that RIMM’s PlayBook had,” said Chowdry in an interview with eWeek’s Clint Boulton. “A Lot of expectations, lot of sell-ins but very weak sell-through.”

And just what do consumers think? According to a nationwide survey of 1,000 different individuals conducted by electronics review site Retrevo, both Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire were tied for consumer interest come this holiday season. Ten percent of those surveyed indicated that the iPad was the gadget they wanted most this holiday season; another ten percent said they wanted a Kindle Fire.

The results are a little less eyebrow-raising (for Amazon) than an earlier Retrevo study, which indicated that 69 percent of those surveyed (another batch of 1,000 consumers) were interested in purchasing a tablet this holiday season. And of this group, 44 percent indicated that they would consider buying a Kindle Fire instead of an iPad 2.

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