A financial analyst has offered further confirmation of Amazon's Kindle Fire sales -- in case there was any doubt. In a note to investors Sunday, Jordan Rohan of Stifel Nicolaus wrote that Amazon shipped as many as six million Kindle Fires through the holidays, about a million more than he previously estimated. That jibes with figures released by Barclays analyst Anthony DiClemente, who pegged shipments at 5.5 million earlier this month, also a one million increase over his previous estimate.
Amazon is generally shy about sharing precise numbers, but the company said it moved more than four million of its tablets and e-readers through December alone. The Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and regular old Kindle were the three best-selling electronics on Amazon through the holidays, with the new tablet being the top sold, gifted and wished for product. It remains the number one electronics item on Amazon today and it's been in the top 100 for 125 days, or since preorders opened.
Although it's commonly viewed as a rival to Apple's iPad (and feature-wise, there's admittedly plenty of overlap between them), the Kindle Fire seems more like it's catering to a different crowd -- one that prefers a smaller, cheaper, Android-based solution with strong ties to Amazon's ecosystem. If the above sales are accurate, the Kindle Fire represented over half of all Android tablet shipments last quarter. Hopefully this is clarified during Amazon's fourth-quarter earnings report tomorrow.
Some iPad sales have surely been "stolen" by the Kindle Fire, but you wouldn't know it by looking at Apple's performance. The company shifted 15.43 million iPads in the fourth quarter, up 111% on-year and beating expectations of 13 million units. For reference, HP, the world's largest PC maker, sold 14.7 million systems in the same period, according to Gartner. Apple's success is likely to continue through 2012, with the iPad 3 due to launch around March with a high-def screen and LTE 4G.