Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 future tablet buyers prefer Kindle Fire

ChangeWave Research says 22% of consumers planning tablet purchases want Amazon's new device

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ChangeWave Research calls it "the most explosive development in the tablet market since the release of the original iPad."

Technically, that's accurate, though the PlayBook, TouchPad and other flops have set the bar low for "explosive developments" in the post-iPad tablet market.

Still, the numbers for Amazon.com's new Kindle Fire tablet are impressive. According to ChangeWave, 22% of future tablet buyers are planning on purchasing the Kindle Fire.

Not that anyone in Cupertino should be losing sleep -- the percentage of survey respondents who plan to buy an iPad (65%) is almost exactly three times as large.

But given that the Apple device had 80% of the North American tablet market in the second quarter, the Kindle Fire's prospective share of future tablet sales is worth noting.

Especially when the No. 3 tablet -- Samsung's Galaxy Tab, which has been on the market for more than a year -- is the choice of only 4% of consumers planning to buy a tablet.

In case you're wondering, by the way, that leaves 9% for all the other tablets. Which, according to ChangeWave, makes the Fire a bigger threat to other companies trying to take some market share from the iPad.

"The launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire represents a shot across the bow at Apple, who until now has almost completely dominated the tablet space. But the most immediate impact of the Amazon device is on the rest of the competition, where the survey shows it wreaking a devastating blow to a range of second-tier tablet manufacturers, including Motorola, RIM, Dell, HTC, HP and Toshiba."

Of course, at $199 the Kindle is priced well below the iPad, which starts at $499. Amazon.com benefited from watching other manufacturers price their tablets almost identically to the iPad, with disastrous results.

The vast difference in pricing means, to a large extent, that Apple and Amazon aren't competing for the same tablet buyers. People who can't afford an iPad probably aren't going to buy one, even if the alternative is to not buy a tablet at all.

On the other hand, potential tablet buyers until now basically have had a choice between the iPad and a bunch of indistinguishable contenders. The Kindle Fire, mixed reviews notwithstanding, now has a higher market profile than any previous iPad challenger. Which automatically makes it a contender.

Just like this guy predicted.

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