Amazon Kindle Fire increases its lead as top Android tablet
Amazon's Kindle Fire owns more than 54 percent of the Android tablet market, according to new statistics released by comScore. This is up from 41.8 percent in February, and 29.4 percent in December, a testament to its meteoric rise since the $199 tablet was released last November.
In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Tab family of tablets garnered just 15.4 percent of the market, with the Motorola Xoom and Asus Transformer capturing 7 percent and 6.3 percent respectively.
While some have argued that the Kindle Fire is popular mainly due to the rock-bottom price tag of $199, there is no denying that its popularity is causing stress within the Android ecosystem. As it is a fork of version 2.3 of the Android operating system, developers who want their Android applications to maintain compatibility with the Kindle Fire may end up avoiding newer APIs found in more recent versions of the Android OS such as Ice Cream Sandwich.
This situation essentially disincentivizes developers from leveraging the capabilities of ICS, which in turn makes ICS a less attractive proposition than it would have been without the Kindle Fire. It remains to be seen if Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will release an update for the Kindle Fire that is based on a fork of ICS, or if manufacturers will unveil an ICS tablet targeted at the low end of the market.
Even the Kindle Fire, though, pales in comparison to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad, which was estimated by IDC to control a massive 55 percent of the tablet market in Q4 2011.