Amazon’s(s amzn) Kindle Fire tablet is on pace to be the best selling Google Android(s goog) tablet of the year, even though you wouldn’t know it runs Android. Leaked sales figures reported by the Cult of Android site show that Amazon has already taken more than 254,000 pre-orders since launching the Fire less than a week ago. At this pace, which could increase during the holiday season, Amazon might sell more than 2.5 million tablets by year end.
Few makers of Android tablets have officially announced sales figures, but some have mentioned the quantity of shipped tablets. Motorola’s Xoom(s mmi) was the first Android Honeycomb slate to launch in February of this year, but the company says only 440,000 units were shipped in the second fiscal quarter this year, for example. That compares to the 9.25 million Apple iPads(s aapl) actually sold during the same time period. My own estimate of Android tablets sold this year was only 1.25 million as of July.
The reported sales figures for Amazon’s Kindle Fire come from a verified source, says Cult of Android. Even if they didn’t say that, I’d have no problem believing the data for two reasons. First is the $199 price of Amazon’s tablet. It’s far less than the entry level iPad, which goes for $499. Of course, the Fire is a 7-inch device, so it really should be less expensive than a 9.7-inch iPad. But it’s also far less than other 7-inch slates from Samsung, Acer, and HTC, even after some of those tablets saw a big price drop once Amazon introduced the Kindle.
Another reason the Fire is likely selling well is Amazon’s media offerings. After a few hours of research yesterday, I found that Amazon rivals Apple in terms of television shows, movies, and music like no other competitor today. And of course, Amazon is synonymous with Kindle e-books, which the company also sells for the Fire tablet. The relatively inexpensive device, complete with a sophisticated web browser and curated software store provides most of what mainstream consumers are looking for in a tablet and it does so at just $199.