Kindle Fire Burns Competition in Android App Usage, Flurry Says

Paul Lilly

One of the biggest complaints against Amazon's Kindle Fire device is you can't download apps directly from Google's Android Market unless you root it. You can also sideload apps onto the Fire, but by and large, the average user isn't savvy enough to venture away from Android's own App Store. Even so, Kindle Fire users are proving they're just as capable of consuming Android apps as anyone else, perhaps more so.

Flurry, a mobile application analytics firm with a data-powered advertising platform, analyzed end-user application usage by Android tablet owners before and after Amazon released it's Kindle Fire. Prior to the Fire's launch, Samsung's Galaxy Tab accounted for 63 percent of Android app sessions.

"At that time, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was widely considered the only viable competition to the iPad, though a distant second," Flurry said in a blog post .

As of January 2012, the Galaxy Tab's share of Android app sessions has dropped to 35.6 percent, a virtual tie with the Kindle Fire, which quickly rose to 35.7 percent.

"So how can a late entrant like Amazon, with little-to-no hardware DNA, waltz in and knock off a consumer electronics juggernaut like Samsung, a company that also enjoyed strong growth in 2011? This is where we believe things get interesting. In short, Amazon’s launch of Kindle Fire had more in common with an Apple-style launch than it did with aligning with the Android system," Flurry explains.

Flurry says the Android ecosystem up to this point has been focused on promoting Google's open-source operating system and the power of the devices that run it. Amazon's focus has been different. The e-commerce giant is all about content consumption on the Kindle Fire, and it's a strategy that's so far proving successful. Also playing in the Fire's favor is the fact that consumers must either link to their Amazon account or input credit card details.

"This makes the user base 100 percent payment enabled," Flurry says.

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