The research group believes that Apple will once again finish the year as market leader, with 18.6 million units and a 65.6% share in Q4. The group predicts that Samsung and Barnes & Noble will occupy 4.8% and 4.7% of the market respectively (1.37 million units and 1.32 million units) for third and fourth place, and puts HTC in fifth position with a 1.3% slice of the market (355,000 units shipments for Q4).
IHS iSuppli says that the introduction of the Kindle Fire given a boost to the tablet market as a whole, with the additional shipments sparking a 7.7% increase in IHS’ forecast of 64.7 million media tablet shipments for 2011. IHS iSuppli expects the figure to rise sharply to 287.2 million in 2015.
“Nearly two years after Apple rolled out the iPad, a competitor has finally developed an alternative which looks like it might have enough of Apple’s secret sauce to succeed,” said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager of tablet and monitor research for IHS.
“Initial market response strongly suggests that Amazon, with the Kindle Fire, has found the right combination of savvy pricing, astute marketing, accessible content and an appropriate business model, positioning the Kindle Fire to appeal to a brand-new set of media tablet buyers. The production plans make it clear that Amazon is betting big on the product.”
Alexander went onto add that the $199 Kindle Fire has created ‘chaos’ in the Android tablet market, especially as most of these makers rely on low hardware prices to succeed.
IHS iSuppli said that Apple may strike back at Amazon by lowering the price of the iPad 2 when the iPad 3 has been launched.