Apple to Ship 10 Million iPad Minis
According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon -- which is producing four new versions of the Kindle Fire -- is only prepared to make five million tablets available in the fourth quarter. This could be due to the fact that Amazon will likely ship the Kindle Fire in fewer regions than its Cupertino, California-based competitor. In fact, the first Kindle Fire remained a North American product.
From the time the original iPad was released in 2010, Apple has acquired and maintained a significant lead over its competitors. Worldwide, the company still owns more than 50 percent of the market. During the first quarter, Apple's global market share was just over 58 percent. According to iSuppli, the third-generation iPad helped Apple increase its share to nearly 70 percent in the second quarter.
In August, Amazon announced that after selling out of every Kindle Fire produced, it had acquired 22 percent of the U.S. market. This was an interesting figure for the company -- which has yet to provide any specific sales figures -- to reveal. Amazon made the announcement just one week before unveiling its next-generation line of tablets.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has yet to announce any sales figures of its first branded tablet, the Asus-developed Nexus 7. Analysts expect the search engine giant to sell as many as eight million units by the end of 2012. A report by ZDNet concurred with this assessment, noting the enormous growth of Android tablets.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) presents another potential threat to Apple's empire. In September the bookseller announced that it will release two new tablets this fall -- the seven-inch Nook HD and nine-inch Nook HD+. The former will retail for $199, the same price as the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Barnes & Noble priced its nine-inch model at just $269, undercutting its competitors by at least $30.
Price appears to be a key factor in acquiring sales. ChangeWave Research found that 59 percent of consumers purchased the original Kindle Fire because of the $199 MSRP.
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