Apple Confirms Kindle Fire And Other ‘Limited Function Tablets’ Have No Impact On iPad Sales

Apple Confirms Kindle Fire And Other ‘Limited Function Tablets’ Have No Impact On iPad Sales

Despite being labeled the first real competitor to the iPad, it seems Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet still has a long way to go before it can lure tablet users away from Apple’s device. Although it seemed to be incredibly popular when it launched last year, largely thanks to that attractive $199 price tag, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the Kindle Fire, and other “limited function tablets,” had no impact on iPad sales whatsoever.

When probed by one analyst during the company’s quarterly earnings call about the impact budget tablets have had on the iPad, Cook highlighted that Apple sold a record 15.4 million iPads during the last quarter, and declared that the company does not consider “limited function tablets and e-readers to be in the same category as the iPad.”

We strongly believe in optimizing applications from day one to take advantage of the larger canvas. There are only a few hundred apps designed for the competition, versus more than 170,000 apps designed specifically for iPad. People who want an iPad won’t settle for a limited function tablet.

And of course, the Kindle Fire isn’t the first device that has attempted to steal some of the iPad’s market share. Since its release in 2009, Apple’s tablet has influenced a whole host of slates powered by Android, BlackBerry, and the webOS operating system.

But the HP TouchPad, which was discontinued by HP last summer and sold off for as little as $99 in a fire sale, proves that no one really wants just any old tablet — they want an iPad. And Apple isn’t about to let its popularity slip away. Cook announced that the company plans to “continue to innovate like crazy” in the tablet market to ensure its device remains the world’s best-selling tablet.

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  • ddevito

    As of right now that might be true, come summer, and things will change.

    Nexus Tablet anyone? 7″, quad core, smooth buttery UI, full google experience, $200.

  • Ryan Cambell

    The ipad was not released in 2009, but in 2010 (April 3rd, 2010). How could you possibly get that wrong? That is not a typo but a lack of overall knowledge/display of pure ignorance. A site dedicated to all things Apple can’t correctly write about the release date of one of their flag ship products? Unreal. And its not like we are talking about 1963 or 1964, this is just 2 years ago.

  • OlympiciTunes Cards

    It was my mom who first wanted to buy an iPad to listen to the religious audios. She used to listening to them on radio but found it hard to carry around (besides the fact that it’s impractical). Then, my father saw the iPad and watched how she used it and fell in love with it. It was just in time when his company wanted to buy tablets for its board of directors. Now he has an iPad too along with a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

    The only person in my family who wants a Kindle Fire is my elder sister. None of my other siblings wants a Kindle Fire.

  • Alfiejr

    what these results should make clear is the tablet market has at least three different segments that don’t really compete with each other much at all, but rather compete with other kinds of products. 

    there is the large full-purpose tablet, the iPad and its imitators. which actually compete with laptop computers now. this is the segment with the most future growth potential.

    there is the mini tablet too, the iPod touch and iPhone and their imitators – including all smartphones – which are competing with/replacing portable media players (like the iPod), game players, PDA’s, and point/shoot cameras. by numbers this is the biggest market segment by far.

    and there is the focused-purpose mid-sized tablet, the Fire and others like it, that does a few things well and is cheap. its market segment is mainly consumers who can’t afford a larger tablet and may not own a computer either. in the US and Europe, that puts it way back in third place. but globally it could be huge in the developing world, China, India, etc.

    Apple isn’t going to enter the cheap mid-sized tablet market. its profit margins are slim to none. and its buyers won’t be buying other Apple products either.

    but i wouldn’t rule out a larger version of the iPod touch. its 3.5″ screen is the smallest type of a pocket-sized mini-tablet, while a 5.5″ version would be the upper limit. that would be much better for media and games, and people with clumsy fingers like me. and it would take some sales from the Fire et al.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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