Research firm IHS iSuppli this morning opines that Amazon.com’s (AMZN) “Kindle Fire” tablet computer is “already shaking up the market” for tablets and e-book readers after just two weeks on the market.
The firm expects Amazon will ship 3.9 million units of the Fire this quarter, putting it in second place in “media tablets” behind Apple (AAPL), which the firm expects will ship 18.6 million units of the iPad this quarter. That would make the split between Apple and Amazon roughly 66% and 14%.
Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) should come in third place with its “Galaxy” brand of tablets, at 1.4 million units, and Barnes & Noble (BKS) may come in fourth with 1.32 million shipments of its “Nook Tablet.”
iSuppli notes that Amazon is willing to take a loss on the tablet — a fact the iSuppli documented with its “tear down” of the Fire. Other are pursuing price as a tactic to combat Apple as well.
Barnes & Noble yesterday said it would spend heavily to promote the $249 Nook Tablet, which is below the $499 starting price of the iPad.
iSuppli speculates Apple may position the existing iPad as a lower-priced SKU in future:
While Apple remains dominant in the media tablet market, speculation is rife that the company will respond to the Kindle Fire’s aggressive pricing with a lower-cost version of the iPad. A far more likely scenario is that Apple also may reduce the pricing on the iPad 2 when the company introduces the iPad 3. This will provide a value alternative for entry-level users in the same way that the company continued to offer the iPhone 3 when it rolled out the iPhone 4. This approach would allow Apple to maintain its target profit margins on both the iPad 3 and the iPad 2, while offering end-users an ever-expanding family of products.