Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kindle Vs Apple in the Tablet Wars

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The Amazon Kindle Fire is hot on the heels of Apple’s iPad in customer satisfaction, according to the first Tablet Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates. Hot, in this case, means breathing down Apple’s neck. The tablets were ranked on a 1,000-point scale that measured price, ease of operation, design, features and performance.

 After the scores were tallied, Apple garnered 848 points while the Kindle pulled in behind with 841 points. By anyone’s measurement, the race for the tablet gold standard is neck and neck.
In its press release, J.D. Power stated that it surveyed 1,985 tablet users.

The primary factor that helped Kindle earn its high ranking was low price, Power stated. Here is how the tablet users ranked the five criteria in importance from most important to least:

* Performance, 26 percent.
* Ease of operation, 22 percent.
* Design, 19 percent.
* Features, 17 percent.
* Price, 16 percent.

Only the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle beat the Power tablet average of 832 points. Hewlett-Packard, Barnes and Noble, Acer and Samsung all fell below the average bar. Here are the Power scores for the other tablets:

* Samsung, 827.
* Acer, 811.
* Barnes and Noble, 803.
* HP, 790.

The Kindle Fire is indeed catching fire with consumers. According to a comScore report released in April, Amazon’s Kindle then commanded a greater than 50 percent share of the Android tablet market. Back in December, 2011, the Kindle held a 29.4 percent share. That number nearly doubled by this past February to 54.4 percent. The Samsung Galaxy Tab had a 15.4 percent share, and the Asus Transformer came in with a 6.3 percent share. No other Android-based tablet besides Kindle and the Galaxy have a 10 percent or greater share.

The Kindle has a reputation as a fast runner that immediately challenged Apple for tablet market share. A week after the Kindle was released in November, 2011, it jumped to the No. 2 tablet in the market. In its first month, the Kindle Fire out-performed Apple’s iPad launch in 2010. Consumers bought four million Kindle Fires during the last holiday season.

These numbers indicate a giant battle for tablet dominance this coming holiday season. Analysts are already raising the possibility that 2013 may be the year when Apple loses its dominant position in the tablet market.
At Apple’s recent cattle call in San Francisco to announce the launch of the iPhone 5, many people voiced disappointment that Apple didn’t roll out a new mini-tablet. It was rumored that this new device would directly target the minipad market. No such luck.

The Power study also found that tablet owners use their devices 7.5 hours per week. Tablet owners who also own smartphones use tablets 40 percent more. Nearly 40 percent of tablet users said they plan to buy another tablet within a year. One-quarter of tablet owners use them for business.
Apple announced a mini-tablet in October, just in time for the holiday season. Add to this the new Kindle Fires announced this week, and the contest to capture the gold standard for tablets should turn out to be the season’s most exciting high-tech race to watch.

Sam Jones, the author, has a passion for the latest mobile phones, tablets and gadgets and can't wait to get his hands on the best new offerings from Apple and Amazon.