Early reviews of the Kindle Fire did not paint a flattering picture of the new tablet last week. It is decidedly not an iPad killer. But its main selling point—its super cheap price—will make it a viable new competitor in the tablet market, according to a report from ChangeWave Research, which posits that the Kindle Fire will easily leapfrog over all of the other second-tier tablets to become the number two tablet in the market.
A November survey of more than 3,000 consumers revealed that nearly one in five have plans to purchase a Kindle Fire, with 2% saying they’ve already pre-ordered, 5% saying they’re very likely to purchase a Kindle Fire in the near future, and 12% saying they’re somewhat likely to buy the Kindle Fire.
A total of 14% said they plan to purchase a Kindle Fire tablet within the next 90 days—eight percentage points higher than was the case in August, when only 6% said the same thing.
Of course, Apple still maintains a very healthy and robust lead, with a full two out of three tablet shoppers saying they’ll pick up an iPad. But, as ChangeWave notes, for the first time since the launch of the very first iPad, Apple now has a double-digit runner-up, with 22% of consumers identifying the Kindle Fire as their tablet of choice if they were to pick up a tablet.
It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s fairly significant when you compare this to the tablet market back in February, when 82% of consumers identified the iPad as their tablet of choice. Of all the other tablets on the market—the Motorola Xoom, RIM Playbook, and Samsung Galaxy Tab—none broke into the double digits in market share. None even managed to claim a 5% market share.
So the fact that a full 22% of consumers are now saying they would purchase a Kindle Fire over any other tablet is huge. While it hasn’t torn down Apple’s lead, it has revolutionized the tablet market to be something other than a sovereign nation.