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Amazon's Kindle Fire Gets Smashed as Apple's iPad Regains Tablet Market Share


IDC reported a significant increase in market share for Apple's iPad.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL I've made no secret of my disdain for the idea that Google (GOOG) Android is making any kind of meaningful dent in the tablet market.

My main complaint has been that Android has been propped up on bargain-basement models like the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble (BKS) NOOK tablet, each of which costs $199, or 50% lower than the cheapest version of last year's iPad. (See: Why the Google Android Tablet Market Is Far Weaker Than It Seems.)

And now, new data from our friends over at International Data Corporation, or IDC, indicates that the new Apple iPad smashed Android in the first quarter of 2012, as I suggested would happen back on March 12. (See: Apple iPad Sellouts, TI Shortfall Raise Stakes for Android in the Tablet Game.)

Here's how I saw the world on that fateful day:

I've been pointing out that Android's market share has been significantly boosted by the money-losing Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet.

Therefore, if 1) the Kindle Fire is in fact fizzling out and 2) the new iPad is selling out, then we can very reasonably conclude that Apple's tablet market share will increase this quarter.

So here's what happened in Q1:

Apple's market share rose from 54.7% in Q4 to 68% in Q1.

The Amazon Kindle Fire saw its market share collapse from 16.8% in Q4 to just over 4% in Q1, putting it into third place behind key Android power Samsung.

In fourth place was Lenovo, while Barnes & Noble was fifth.

Note -- I regularly crank out these types of stats, sometimes with accompanying charts like the one you see below, on Twitter, so follow me and you'll get them even faster.

Scary, because Samsung and Apple dominate the mobile-phone market, as evidenced by this handy-dandy chart I sent around last week:

So what do we take away from this?

Well, we know that Apple's iPad remains, increasingly so, the dominant force in tablets because of its incredible user experience and dead-simple hardware/software/app ecosystem.

However, I wonder one thing: Did Samsung make it into second place because of great products that generate desire on the part of gadget shoppers?

Or was it just a mathematical certainty because the Kindle Fire fell from grace so quickly?

Since I don't have access to the full IDC report, I can't answer that question.

But I do know this -- the Android tablet market has all its work still ahead of it.

Twitter: @MichaelComeau

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