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Kindle Fire shipments tank but CTRs still strong

Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire ad impressions grow

Following a successful launch in the fourth quarter of 2011, Amazon’s Kindle Fire was unable to maintain the momentum during the first quarter, with shipments dropping 80 percent. However, with higher click-through rates than the iPad, Amazon’s tablet still presents opportunities for marketers.

The first quarter drop in tablet shipments revealed in new data from ABI Research is typical for most media segments. What is unclear is if Amazon will be able to regain momentum in the tablet category in the second and third quarters.

“The drop quarter-over-quarter was 80 percent for the Kindle Fire,” said Jeff Orr, group director of consumer research at ABI Research, New York.

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“Dropping 80 percent was greater than any other vendor,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to call this an indicator of how Amazon will do in the future because it is a down quarter for everyone.”

“We’ll have to see what the second quarter looks like. If Amazon is able to recover and bring an uptick in shipments, then they shouldn’t be counted out.”

Different strategies
While shipments may be down for the Kindle Fire, a new report from Jumptap shows the Kindle Fire had a click-through rate than the larger iPad during the first quarter. The CTR for the Kindle Fire was 1.02 percent while for the iPad it was .90 percent.

The Kindle Fire beats out other tablets as well when it comes to CTRs, according to Jumptap.

The numbers suggest that mobile advertisers need to build different creative for different screen sizes in order to maximize the features and functionalities of each device as well as the results.

Jumptap’s data also indicates that marketers targeting Baby Boomers may be well served to take a look at the Kindle Fire, with Baby Boomers 19 percent more likely to own a Kindle Fire while Millennials are 23 percent more likely to own an iPad.


Citi's Kindle Fire app.

Kindle Fire benefitted in the fourth quarter of last year from the strong interest in tablets and the fact that it offered a low-priced alternative to the iPad with a strong content and app ecosystem. However, competition continues to heat up in the tablet category, with Dell, HP and LG all currently revamping their tablet portfolios for mid-year launches on Android 4.0 while Windows 8 tablets are expected to launch later in the year.

“What Amazon brings to the tablet is a really well stocked app store and content library,” Mr. Orr said. “That bodes well for Amazon in the long-term.

“What is unclear is if they have created a hardware platform and a brand following that will bridge them until the next holiday,” he said.

Samsung gains
The media tablet market shipped 18.2 million devices in first quarter of the year, a 185 percent gain year-over-year and a 33 percent drop compared with the previous quarter, according to ABI Research.

Apple maintained the top spot in the category with 11.8 million iPad shipments and a 65 percent share of total tablet shipments.

Samsung regained the number two spot in tablet shipments from Kindle Fire with 1.1 million shipments.

RIM and Lenovo were the only leading branded tablet OEMS who saw a gain in shipments during the first quarter, at 233 percent and 107 percent respectively.

Apple’s continued dominance in the tablet category means the iPad will continue to be major focus for marketers. However, this does not mean they should count out other players, such as the Kindle Fire.

“The overall tablet strategy for marketers remains the same,” Mr. Orr said. “With roughly 65 percent of shipments going to Apple, that has to be where developers have to look first.

“But they can’t dismiss the balance of that,” he said. “In the past 18 months, Android has gone from zero percent to 30 percent share.

“What do you do out of the iPad? Maybe there is a greater opportunity where you can set more of your own rules and have more control over the business.”

Associate Editor Chantal Tode covers advertising, messaging, legal/privacy and database/CRM. Reach her at chantal@mobilemarketer.com.

 
Related content: Advertising, Kindle Fire, Amazon, Apple, iPad, ABI Research, Jeff Orr, Jumptap, mobile marketing, mobile

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