Kindle Fire Won’t Cool Off iPad Sales
When it last reported earnings, Apple said it expected iPad shipments to see an “all-time” record in the December quarter. With Amazon’s Kindle Fire newly arrived at market and evidently selling pretty well, and with reports of Apple cutting back on iPad 2 component orders in advance of the launch of a new iPad beginning to make the rounds, will Apple still attain that goal?
It’s a safe bet.
Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes says that while the debut of the Fire will obviously have some effect on the U.S. tablet market, it won’t have much impact on the iPad market.
“We believe the $199 Kindle Fire from Amazon has ‘paused’ some level of tablet demand in the U.S. given its disruptive price point and that customers are even starting to realize that the iPad is likely to be upgraded in the C1Q (as usual),” Reitzes says. “Our research … points toward C4Q11 production in the lower double digit millions range after a mid-teens iPad build in C3Q11.”
Importantly, Reitzes says even that tweaked build rate still backs his iPad unit sale estimate of 13.9 million for the December quarter. So, in his eyes, Apple will deliver on those “all-time” record iPad shipments.
And as for the Fire?
Well, it’s still quite new. And the tablet market will certainly change again with the expected debut of the iPad 3 next year.
“The jury is still out on the Amazon Fire,” Reitzes writes. “We believe the iPad still stands out as the industry standard in terms of software integration. Some of the early reviews for the Fire are less than flattering. We believe that iPad is set for a new product cycle in FY12, which will reaccelerate the category.”