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JP Morgan: Kindle Fire expected to sell 5 million in Q4

Just weeks after dismissing the Kindle Fire as a potential challenger to the iPad (s aapl), J.P. Morgan is now upping its assessment of Amazon’s debut tablet (s amzn), saying the device is expected to move 4.5 to 5 million units in the fourth quarter. Based on checks with supply chain vendors, J.P. Morgan’s hardware team reports production momentum for the Fire has is up sharply of late, suggesting that the device is seeing a lot of pre-order demand. Several vendors, including Foundry partners, have experienced rush orders in the last two to three weeks, J.P. Morgan said Monday in a research note.

J.P. Morgan Internet analyst Douglas Anmuth, who covers Amazon, is looking for 5 million units in the fourth quarter and expects to see multiple models in 2012, including 7 and 10-inch units and models with 3G radios in addition to Wi-Fi. The Kindle Fire goes on sale Nov. 15.

Another J.P. Morgan analyst initially dismissed claims that the Amazon could become the world’s No. 2 tablet-maker, calling it “noise.” He said he was “not impressed” with the Kindle Fire and said its price could ultimately be detrimental, indicating that it’s a less than full-featured tablet. Apple, by comparison, sold 11.1 million iPads during the most recent quarter ending Sept. 24.

But consumers may have other ideas. Pre-orders have been going very well, with one leaked sales report indicating 50,000 units per day, suggesting Amazon may be poised to hit some big numbers this holiday season. I thought that Amazon could have a big seller on its hands because the Fire; while not competitive with the iPad (s aapl) in many respects, it shines as a media consumption device with a price ($199) that seems very appealing to consumers. We’ll see how much Amazon can sell of the Fire though we might not get a firm answer on sales considering Amazon is silent on Kindle sales figures.

10 Responses to “JP Morgan: Kindle Fire expected to sell 5 million in Q4”

  1. Great news!
    I really like the Kindle!
    I have already got the kindle fire for my reading and watching, and got many apps like aneesoft video converter to convert videos&movies for it, and now Im considering to buy another for my Mom.

    • George Ou

      There is, but it doesn’t have the same marketing. The Lenovo A1 tablet will be $199 ($250 for 16 GB model) and will have the following things the Kindle Fire doesn’t have.

      1. Front+Rear camera.
      2. GPS
      3. Bluetooth
      4. Accelerometer (for orientation and games)
      5. Micro-SDHC slot for memory expansion
      6. Full Android Market

      • On the other hand, the Kindle Fire will have the following things the Lenovo A1 won’t have:

        1. Cortex A9 x 2 (A1 has A8 x 1)
        2. IPS screen with anti-glare filter
        3. Gorilla Glass
        4. 6GB more internal storage
        5. Unlimited cloud storage (for Amazon content)
        6. Complete ecosystem

        For a $200 media consumption tablet, Amazon got it right and Lenovo got it wrong (like the gazillion other tablet makers that failed to make a dent in the iPad world domination even after their second try). While every single feature Amazon stuffed into the Fire that are left out of the A1 contributes directly to a better media consumption experience, all the features the A1 boasts that are not in the Fire are totally extraneous to most casual consumers. Let’s run through each one…

        1. don’t care (got my smartphone for this)
        2. nice to have, but again my phone can do this
        3. don’t care (it’s not a phone)
        4. hmm…the Fire can auto-rotate its screen
        5. I won’t miss it thanks to cloud storage
        6. no thanks, the curated Appstore is superior

        My point is that it’s not about the specs, it’s about the whole end-to-end user experience. The average tablet consumer is not going to root their tablet or research a dozen different movie player apps to watch a streaming movie — they just want it to work (geeks are not average). Only Apple and Amazon gets it at this point, and this is why the Kindle Fire will run away to the #2 spot after the iPad, with the 3rd placer being a distant third.

      • I forgot one crucial thing the Fire has that the A1 doesn’t have:

        7. SILK

        I hear Silk not only makes web pages load faster, but it will also accelerate the initial loading and streaming of videos and MP3s. I guess we’ll see how effective it is under load when 5 million users start using it after launch.