Amazon Kindle Fire is poised to be a retail blockbuster, according to one analyst. What makes the Amazon Kindle Fire different from the steady success of the Nook Color?
Yesterday, a day ahead of schedule, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, a $200 tablet powered by Android. Unlike the iPad, which is a full-featured machine, the Fire is light on firepower, and exists mostly to sell Amazon e-books and Amazon Prime movies. Still, reviewers, for the most part, have been kind – one critic called the device "perhaps the best, tightest integration of digital content acquisition into a mobile device that we've yet seen."
And in a statement, Dave Limp, an Amazon exec in charge of the Kindle line, announced that the Fire is already a hit. "Based on customer response," Limp wrote in a press release, "we’re building millions more than we’d planned." But several questions remain, chief among them whether the Fire, which straddles the line between tablet and e-reader, can rack up sales in the long run.
Today, Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester, offered a qualified yes. "Amazon has all the pieces in place to ensure a successful launch for the Fire," she told CNN, adding that Amazon will likely sell between 3 and 5 million Fire units before the end of the year. For context, consider the following facts: Apple has sold 28 million iPad tablets since the device first hit shelves, in 2010. (In the last quarter alone, Apple unloaded 9.3 million iPads.)