American Marketer


Kindle Fire grabs share of user sessions away from Galaxy Tab

February 1, 2012


The success of the Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet is giving Samsung a run for its money when it comes to how frequently users engage with the devices, according to new data from Flurry Analytics.

The Kindle Fire, which just launched in the fall, had a 35.7 share of Android tablet user sessions so far in January. This puts it in competition with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which had a 63 percent share in November but saw that number drop to 35.6 percent in January.

“Marketers should ensure they have an offering for Amazon,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry Analytics, San Francisco. “When considered as a digital channel in the Android market, Amazon is going to be a significant player.

“App sessions increased so rapidly because the focus Amazon put on the Kindle Fire was around easily discovering and consuming digital content, including apps, video on demand, and more,” he said.

“The entire experience from the moment the consumer first launches the device is all about connect them to great content. This approach appears to be working very well.”

Content is king

The Samsung Galaxy Tab has been in the market since November 2010.

The success of the Kindle Fire tablet comes from a focus on content and the consumer experience while other Android tablets have tended to focus on the power of the devices.

With the Android Market lacking content control and a seamless commerce experience, developers who develop for the platform are pushed toward advertising models, per Flurry.

However, the Amazon Kindle Fire is built on a highly modified Android platform that emphasizes content, a differentiated consumer experience and commerce.

Amazon lined up key content for its launch, including Facebook and Angry Birds. The Kindle Fire also offers Amazon Prime, Amazon’s streaming TV and movie service.

Users are asked to either link to their Amazon account or enter credit card information when they launch the Kindle Fire, making it payment-enabled.

The content model is key to how Amazon is making any money from the Kindle Fire, which is being sold for the low price of $199.

Overall, Android tablets are growing. According to new data from Strategy Analytics, Android tablets’ share of the category grew from 29 percent the fourth quarter of 2010 to 39 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Flurry research also points to strong growth in Android tablets overall, with the number of Android tablet sessions in January more than tripling compared with November. Galaxy tablet sessions increased by more than 50 percent during this period.

Paid app downloads

Flurry also took a look at paid apps that ranked in the top 10 apps in both the Amazon App Store and Android Market during January 2012.

Flurry found that Kindle Fire drove over 2.5 times more paid downloads to consumers than the Galaxy Tab. This shows that the Amazon App Store can already deliver more direct revenue to developers than the Android Market.

Flurry defines a session as the launch and subsequent exit of an app. The company estimates that it tracks over 20 percent of all consumer sessions on more than 90 percent of all Android devices.

“Strategically, Amazon appears to have the right focus on content,” Mr. Farago said.

“From an executions standpoint, if history can be used to predict the future, Amazon will continue to iterate aggressively on its tablet offerings,” he said.

“We need to remember that this is at least the third tablet offering from Amazon, the first few delivered as the original Kindle reader, as well as iterations of that hardware platform. For these reasons, we believe that this is just the beginning, and Amazon is here to stay in the tablet space.”

Final Take

Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York