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Amazon's Kindle Fire HD Is a Menace to Android and a Friend to the iPad

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Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD is about to shake up the tablet market.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL I've spent an awful lot of time exposing some ugly truths about the sorry state of the Google (GOOG) Android tablet market. In fact, I believe this is some of the best work I've done here at Minyanville. (Please read Why the Google Android Tablet Market Is Far Weaker Than It Seems and IDC's 1% Tablet Forecast Increase Masks a Huge Decrease in Expectations for Google Android.)

And unfortunately, things are about to get worse, courtesy of Amazon's (AMZN) new Kindle Fire HD.

Some quick background: Upon its release in November 2011, the Kindle Fire became one of the most popular Android tablets on the market. According to Amazon, it took 22% of the US tablet market during its run on the market -- a number with which I generally agree, though Amazon still hasn't bothered to call me to discuss it. (See: Did Amazon Fudge Its 22% Market Share Number for the Kindle Fire?)

Now, it's important to note that the Kindle Fire performed much more strongly out of the gate. According to IDC, its global market share was as follows:

Q4 2011: 17%
Q1 2012: 4%
Q2 2012: 5%

Now why did it decline? First, Barnes & Noble (BKS) released the competing Nook Tablet in February 2012, providing direct competition at the $199 price point.

Secondly, Apple's (AAPL) new iPad was a major game-changer with its spectacular screen, and that drew a lot of new folks into the tablet market.

However, I think that the Kindle Fire HD is going to do a whole lot better.

My rationale is simple: Amazon's going all-in on low pricing that no tablet maker is likely willing to, or capable of matching.

There are now four Kindle Fire models on the market.

The plain-Jane Kindle Fire model with 8 GB of memory and a 7-inch screen goes for $159, which is $40 cheaper than the Google Nexus 7.

The Kindle Fire HD, with a 7-inch screen and 16 GB of memory, is $199, the same price as the 8 GB Nexus 7. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, with a 7-inch screen and 8 GB of memory, is $249.

But here's where it gets really interesting.
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