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Rumor: Kindle Fire already has over 250,000 preorders and counting

Amazon Kindle Fire - hand modeledWe don’t think that the new Amazon Kindle Fire will be an iPad killer, but it might just outsell the Apple tablet. The folks over at Cult Of Android got some leaked preorder numbers from Amazon, and the numbers look amazing. After only five days the Kindle Fire has amassed 254,074 preorders, which almost matches the original iPads first day sales.

The original iPad sold 300,000 units on its first day of availability, and took a month to reach one million unit sales. The iPad 2 sold 2.6 million units in its first month, which is by far the tablet record to beat. If we dig into the numbers a little more we see that it is possible that the Kindle Fire might come close to those numbers. The 257,074 preorder number was after five days which means an average of 50,000 orders a day. If that rate of orders remains steady then the Kindle Fire will reach 2.5 million preorders by its November 15 release date.

It is highly unlikely that people will keep preordering at the same rate for the entire time, but it is very likely that the Kindle Fire could sell a million units on its launch date. We already think that the Fire will dominate, and having such amazing order numbers has to be a good sign.

Just to be mean let’s compare these numbers to other tablets recently released. The Motorola Xoom sold only 100,000 units in its first month and a half, RIM sold an estimated 250,000 units in its first month. The Kindle Fire has a long way to go to pass the iPad, but it seems like a given that it will pass all other Android tablets in sales.

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Opinion: Amazon burns up Apple’s iPad model with the Kindle Fire

The iPad is actually the first PC-like product that Apple has aggressively priced since Steve Jobs turned Apple around. Why? It’s subsidized by royalties and fees from accessories, media, and applications that surround it, allowing Apple to both provide an attractively priced product and maintain the high profits Apple investors have come to expect. The Kindle Fire takes this concept one huge step further: It’s basically a dedicated front door to Amazon that every Fire user will carry with them.
This is something an online retailer can do that neither Apple nor another hardware maker can do as successfully, because as Apple demonstrated, making this work is about the store. A full-service retailer will have more opportunity to make money than a specialist shop. Granted, people will still need to get the product, but Amazon should be able to make more money through the Kindle Fire than Apple does through the iPad, if (and that’s a big “if”) Amazon can execute in line with Apple.
Let’s talk about tablets, and potentially PCs, as digital storefronts today.
Traditional Android doesn’t work
The sneaky thing about Android is that while Google provides it for free, it basically owns the back-end and most of the revenue opportunity that Apple is using to make money off the iPad. In effect, your normal Android licensee takes all the hardware risk, but gives up the majority of the profit potential to Google. Google just doesn’t execute on that potential as aggressively as Apple does, or Amazon plans to. To redirect the stream of cash from the Kindle away from Google, Amazon started with an older version of Android, updated it, and basically forked the code to make it theirs.
In the old world, Microsoft sold the OS and made much of the profit. Google gave the OS away for free, but seized most of the opportunity to sell to its users, even though it didn’t seem to do much with it. Profit is the most important part of this new tablet world, and frankly any business world. Increasingly,the profit appears to come from what you do with the device, not the device itself, which is why Apple and Amazon are moving to own the entire software and services stack.
Barnes & Noble vs. Amazon vs. eBay?
If the value of the product isn’t the product itself but what the product is used for, this would seem to benefit a vendor whose strength lies in those services. Both the Nook and initial Kindle were connected to e-book back ends and relatively balanced. However, Amazon is a full-featured vendor (you can pretty much get anything either directly or through affiliates that can be shipped through Amazon), while Barnes & Noble is still just a book re-seller. With similar efforts,this means Amazon should be both able to sell its product for less and make more money from it, suggesting that over time Barnes & Noble will be aced out if it can’t expand its retail breadth.
Companies that live off of some form of Internet retailing could go the same way. I can imagine an eBay tablet, for instance, with tuned services tied back to eBay’s various retail offerings, or even a Best Buy tablet that mirrors the Kindle Fire in many ways. They would all come at aggressive prices, and largely tied to the services the firm branding them provides.
Just the beginning
We’ve gone from packaged products to advertising-supported offerings, and now to offerings that are funded by their dedication to some retail back-end or secondary revenue stream. We are already seeing “blends,” with some Kindles being further subsidized by advertising and expected to approach free, which is somewhat unique in hardware. In the end, we are just at the beginning of this. In the future, you wonder if TVs might be tied more closely to certain retailers, who then will own more of the advertising and retail revenue streams in exchange for a cheaper set.
In the end, conversations about which sports team you support may change to which retailer owns your eyeballs. At that point, I begin to wonder if this trend is ultimately a good thing. I guess we’ll find out.
One final thought: Amazon is redefining the tablet world so that it better fits Amazon’s model. I can recall another vendor doing that with MP3 players a few years back, and that was with the iPod and Apple.
Guest contributor Rob Enderle is the founder and principal analyst for the Enderle Group, and one of the most frequently quoted tech pundits in the world. Opinion pieces denote the opinions of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of Digital Trends.

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Survey: iPad set to be pushed aside by Kindle Fire this holiday season

It looks like Apple’s iPad finally has some serious competition on its hands. According to the results of a recent survey by consumer electronics shopping and review site Retrevo, shoppers in the US interested in buying an iPad this holiday season are outnumbered by more than three times by those interested in Amazon’s Kindle Fire - and it’s not even on the shelves yet.
Of those considering purchasing a tablet, 44 percent said they would take a look at Amazon’s Kindle Fire while only 12 percent said they would definitely get an iPad.
At $199, Amazon’s 7-inch 8GB tablet, which goes on sale next week, costs $300 less than Apple’s cheapest iPad, the 16GB Wi-Fi only model.
Encouraged by the number of pre-orders it has received since the Kindle Fire was unveiled in September, the e-commerce giant has reportedly ramped up production to meet demand. The Fire will start shipping next week.
Retrovo’s study, which involved more than 1,000 consumers, showed that tablets could be the hot item this holiday season, with 69 percent of respondents saying they're looking to buy one, or want to at least find out more about them.
Retrovo said that “the iPad 2 is starting to show its age and the new Kindle Fire is about to make the scene with a very attractive $199 price point.”
It also commented on Amazon’s timing regarding the release of the Fire. “With the iPad 2 nearly a year old and the iPad 3 rumored to not be available until next year (missing the holiday season), Amazon may have timed the launch of their tablet just right.”
The unveiling of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet on Monday, however, undermines the survey's results somewhat. The research was carried out before the Nook Tablet was announced, and with a spec sheet similar to that of the Fire, it'll no doubt be of interest to consumers too. Barnes & Noble’s new tablet, which hits the shelves later next week, also sports a 7-inch screen and runs a version of the Android operating system, although it has double the internal memory and costs $50 more than the Fire.
Of course, with Apple having sold somewhere in the region of 35 million iPads since its launch in 2010, Amazon has some catching up to do, but if the results of Retrovo’s survey prove accurate, this holiday season may see a noticeable shift in the tablet market for the first time.

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RIM: Buy two PlayBooks, get one free

Research In Motion (RIM) is looking for more ways to shift those PlayBooks. The latest idea, announced by the Ontario-based company on Friday, is to give a free PlayBook to anyone that buys two. But the question is, who’s going to buy two? Of course, there'll be those asking another question: Who’s even going to buy one?
According to the ad on the BlackBerry website, the offer is aimed at business users, so RIM is banking on there being bosses out there who might be moved to equip company employees with its device. To further entice potential buyers, a BlackBerry leather sleeve, charging pod and HDMI cable will be offered for free with each tablet.
The latest initiative follows several others by RIM aimed at boosting sales of its poor-selling tablet. At the end of last month, a number of retailers knocked $200 off the device, bringing the cost of the entry level 16GB PlayBook down to $299.
However, it’s once again selling for $499. Also in September, news emerged that RIM was offering the tablet to employees of Canadian cell phone carrier and long-time business partner Rogers, discounted by as much as 50 percent.
The fact is, the PlayBook is struggling in a market where Apple’s iPad continues to dominate. During its first quarter of sales, RIM shipped 500,000 PlayBooks, but for the quarter ending in September, demand had already cooled markedly, with only 200,000 being shipped. Apple, by comparison, sold just over 11 million iPads during roughly the same time period.
When the PlayBook was launched in April, it came under fire for lacking a native email client and instant messaging app, as well as having a poorly stocked app store. This week it was announced that the release of a long-awaited OS update intended to fix some of these issues has been put off until next year.
RIM’s latest offering may grab the attention of some businesses, but with so many tablets coming on the market now, including Amazon’s highly-anticipated Kindle Fire, it’s hard to imagine the PlayBook ever taking off in a big way.
RIM’s offer runs until the end of December and can be purchased from a number of authorized resellers in the US and Canada (excluding Quebec).

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