Could the Kindle Fire dethrone the iPad as Sales King?

Since launch, the iPad has been the one to beat in the tablet market. Android competitors, while offering strong competition, don’t have quite the magical air that Apple reeks of exudes. No one has been able to touch the iPad, which has sold over 15 million units to date. The Amazon Kindle Fire might be able to change that. According to a recent market survey by marketing firm ChangeWave, 5% of respondents had already pre-ordered the device, with another 12% saying they were somewhat likely to purchase the device.┬áCompare those numbers to the pre-iPad survey, where 4% had pre-ordered it and only 9% were somewhat likely to buy one.

What’s behind this? Well, many things. The market has been primed for tablets at this point. People are seeing them as more acceptable replacements for most of their computing. The iPad beat amazing odds to become as popular as it has. Most people regarded them as a luxury in the early days (and most current users have more disposable income,) yet they managed to sell them by the truckload. The general market now wants a tablet.

That’s where Amazon comes in. They have one of the largest online customer bases in the world, selling just about everything you want (and things you don’t) and have an estimated 75 million hits per day in the US alone. They’ve been working on perfecting their App Store filled with only the most worthwhile apps. Then they put together a tablet, running Android, that comes in at $300 under the iPad, and the response was overwhelming.

Suddenly, those who couldn’t justify a $500 purchase had a tablet within their reach. It comes with good specs, and loves the cloud. You don’t have to worry about keeping your data locally! The lack of a camera didn’t seem to scare away buyers, and analysts estimate that Amazon could sell as many as 5 million Fires this holiday season. Of course, a lot depends on what the early adopters have to say. I certainly hope Amazon got all the kinks worked out. It’ll be fun to see Apple sweating sales in a market they’ve easily dominated since its rebirth.