Kindle Fire could lead the two-man tablet race

 
Stephan Shakespeare
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AMAZON’S Kindle Fire entry into the US tablet market has caused a flurry of speculation around its impact on tablets. It seems that the Kindle Fire will now lead Amazon and Apple into a two-horse race, potentially eliminating all other competitors.

YouGov’s TabletTrack suggests that £250 is the price point where the tablet market will take off. Tablets will fail as a mass-market product until the price comes down to this point. The Kindle Fire launches at $199 versus the iPad2 at $499, so if we expect the same pricing differential in the UK, that price point will have easily been hit.

Apple is the current UK market leader in terms of awareness, preference and price. The latest YouGov TabletTrack data shows 72 per cent of “hot prospects”, consumers looking to buy a tablet, will consider an iPad2 with a further 61 per cent saying they expect to buy one. Competitors only reach single figures of these “hot prospects”. However, the Kindle Fire competes in terms of price and specifications, and also in the trust consumers have in the Amazon brand.

Amazon consistently achieves a Recommendation index score in YouGov’s BrandIndex at around 60 points. Apple however fluctuates between the 25 and 35 point mark.

BrandIndex shows that Apple’s brand and Apple’s iPad Buzz index scores have risen rapidly since Amazon’s Kindle Fire announcement last week. Yet, Apple’s overall and iPad Value scores have both fallen by some 14 and 16 points in the last nine days. Yesterday, some 49 Value index points separated Amazon and Apple. If the battle is to be fought on price then Amazon starts with a clear advantage.

It has to be said that yesterday’s Apple launch will impact the iPhone brand line. Buzz for iPhone remains fairly static but one would expect this to rise considerably in the coming days. Stephan Shakespeare is the chief executive of YouGov