26% of Kindle Fire Customers Delaying iPad Purchases; iOS/Android Crush Nintendo, Sony

Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet is creating a lot of buzz in the mobile industry. In fact, some customers are willing to delay iPad purchases to buy the Kindle Fire instead.

The tablet industry hasn’t been very competitive over the past year or so despite the number of tablets available on the market. Apple’s iPad/iPad 2 have dominated tablet sales and left Android-based tablets in the dust. According to a recent comScore study, iPads accounted for 97.2 percent of U.S. tablet traffic in August 2011.

But in five days, Amazon’s Kindle Fire will hit the market as a representation of Android (even though Amazon has created its own build of Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread operating system), and this fresh-faced tab is expected to be the first worthy competitor of the iPad.

In fact, a new ChangeWave survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets, a Canadian investment bank, said that 26 percent of those who pre-ordered a Kindle Fire or strongly plan to have delayed the purchase of an iPad.

The ChangeWave survey, which included 2,600 “early adopters types,” found that 5 percent had pre-ordered a Kindle Fire or strongly planned to. In 2010, the survey found that only 4 percent were very likely to purchase the original iPad.

Of the 5 percent who pre-ordered the Kindle Fire (or planned to), 26 percent said they would put an iPad purchase on hold.

The Kindle Fire has some real perks to it, such as a $199 price tag compared to the iPad 2’s price tag of $499 and up. However, Kindle Fire isn’t a full-featured tablet like the iPad 2. Some Kindle Fire specs include a 7-inch multi-touch display, a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4 dual-core processor, 512 MB memory, 8 GB storage capacity, 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity, and Amazon’s new Web browser Amazon Silk. Amazon has also announced extras such as apps for Kindle Fire as well as the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows customers to borrow up to one book per month with a $79 annual Amazon Prime membership.

The iPad 2, on the other hand, offers a few extras that Kindle Fire doesn’t, such as a 3G option, a camera, and a microphone. It also offers up to 64 GB of storage.

Despite these differences, the Kindle Fire is holding its own as a strong competitor, since it still possesses basic abilities such as internet browsing, apps, music and video playback. Some reports even estimate that Kindle Fire will experience better sales than the iPad this holiday season.

In other mobile-related news, a new study by Flurry, which builds mobile application analytics, has found that iOS and Android-powered devices are taking over in the portable game software realm, which was once dominated by the likes of Nintendo.

According to the study, Nintendo’s DS dominated the share of U.S. revenue generated for portable games in 2009 at 70 percent, while iOS and Android-powered devices were at 19 percent and Sony’s PSP sat at 11 percent. In 2010, these numbers changed to 57 percent for Nintendo DS, 34 percent for iOS and Android, and 9 percent for Sony PSP. In 2011, where November and December were estimated based on the prior 10 months of this year, iOS and Android climbed to the top position with 58 percent, Nintendo DS at 36 percent, and Sony PSP at only 6 percent.

In just two years, iOS and Android tripled their market share from about 20 percent in 2009 to about 60 percent in 2011. Together, iOS and Android game revenue was at $500 million, $800 million, and $1.9 billion for 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. For Nintendo DS and Sony PSP combined, they posted $2.2 billion, $1.6 billion and $1.4 billion for 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.

Experts say free or 99-cent apps compared to $20 to $60 cartridges are what’s tipping the scale. Back in March, Rovio Mobile CEO Peter Vesterbacka even went as far as saying console games are “dying” in favor of mobile games.

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