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Did Amazon Fudge Its 22% Market Share Number for the Kindle Fire?


Amazon's Kindle Fire just sold out, and a market share number causes some controversy.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL (AMZN) just bid an official goodbye to the Kindle Fire, which made history as one of the first Google (GOOG) Android tablets to actually make a dent in the market.

According to Amazon's press release, the Kindle Fire took 22% of tablet sales in the US during its time on the market.

This number is causing some minor controversy on the financial Twit-O-Sphere as it seems awfully high, so I decided to single-handedly spearhead the investigation.

I hit Amazon up with a phone call (I left my number, so call me maybe!), email, and Tweet to get the skinny straight from the horse's mouth, and they haven't yet gotten back to me, so I decided to take a stab at figuring it out myself.

Now one thing to remember is that while. Apple (AAPL) faithfully reports iPad sales numbers each quarter, Amazon does not do the same for the Kindle Fire. That makes this exercise a little bit tough.

I took a look at estimates from IDC, which help us out quite a bit.

During Q4 of 2011 (when the Kindle Fire debuted), Amazon sold 4.8 million units, enough to take 16.8% of the global tablet market.

In Q1, IDC reported that Amazon's market share fell to just over 4%, which implies sales of about 700K.

For Q2, sales were 1.25 million for about 5% of the global market.

Using my own brand of magic seventh-grade math, I managed to figured out that during the three quarters for which we have Kindle Fire sales estimates, it had 9.6% of the global market. Note, however, that this number does not include July or August, a time frame for which there are no numbers.

Now, remember this: The Kindle Fire was a US-only product. Therefore, its global market share will be significantly lower than its US market share.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that its US market share was significantly higher than 9.6%, putting that 22% number within reach.
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