As Apple Prepares the iPad 3, Hopes Are High for Kindle Fire

Too high, perhaps, as it may turn out to be an unworthy competitor

Strategy Analytics this week issued a report on their latest research which revealed that the Apple iPad had secured a whopping 80 percent share of tablet shipments during the second quarter of 2011 in the hole of North America. All eyes are on Amazon’s Fire tablet now.

Elaborating on Apple’s immense success, Strategy Analytics believes Amazon and other OEMs “will find it hard, but not impossible” to break Apple’ tight grip on the American tablet market.

Alex Spektor, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Apple completely dominates the North American tablet market, capturing 80 percent share of 7.5 million shipments during Q2 2011.”

Spektor noted that Apple is way ahead key rivals such as Motorola, Samsung, RIM, Asus and HTC, thanks to “a combination of cool branding, user-friendly hardware, entertaining services and savvy retail distribution,”

Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, also believes Apple is an amazing market leader, but he has his eye on Amazon too.

He thinks “Amazon’s new tablet product represents a good opportunity to place an Amazon shopping cart in the hands of American consumers, offering optimized access to purchasing digital content or physical goods from the Amazon online store.”

However, Mawston had issued his estimates before the unveiling of Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

On September 27, he said: “Provided the pricing, screen size and hardware design are right, Amazon can be one of the main challengers to Apple’s dominance. Like Apple, Amazon has a strong brand, compelling content, sophisticated billing systems and widespread distribution.”

Following the tablet's launch yesterday, hopes remained high among analysts that Apple's iPad was facing true competition for the first time.

Yet a 7-inch screen, no 3G wireless, and just 8GB of storage hardly make the Fire a worthy adversary for the iPad - not even for the first generation Apple tablet, not to mention the iPad 2.

Granted, the tablet does pose its benefits, like free cloud storage, the various free offerings, the highly customizable Android OS, and the $200 price tag.

But, as Apple fans may know, a third iPad is expected to arrive early next year, and people who want a true tablet experience don’t seem to be shy of heftier price tags. It may just be that Amazon has arrived too late to the tablet game, much like all the other Apple rivals.

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