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Amazon tablets struggling for Chinese penetration

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablet is struggling to make in-roads in the Chinese tablet market with the company holding less than a one per cent share of the country’s tablet market.

Since the firm first brought the tablet into the Chinese market in June it has shipped just 8,300 units, although the last quarter [Q3 2013] accounted for 6,300 of those sales, according to IDC, and it at least shows the company is growing.

The main problem for Amazon is that even though it’s tablet is priced at just 1499 yuan [£150] it is still far more expensive than local vendors selling incredibly cheap Android tablets.

"These vendors have high shipments numbers, and you can buy their tablets at just 300 yuan [£30]. So the Kindle Fire doesn't really have a huge advantage," said Wang Jun, an analyst at Beijing-based Analysys International, according to PC World.

These smaller vendors, classed as “others” by IDC, accounted for 39 per cent of China’s tablet market with the total amount of tablets shipped by them hitting 2.6 million – up from 2.3 million in the previous quarter.

To try and grow even further the company has also introduced a version of the Kindle software that specifically supports Chinese languages and it is also selling the item through Suning, one of the country’s largest retailers, according to IDC analyst Dickie Chang.

Tablet manufacturers shipped a total of 6.7 million tablets to China during Q3 2013 with Apple the largest vendor with 34 per cent share of shipments and Samsung trailing it in second place with an 11 per cent share. Lenovo took the bronze medal with an eight per cent share of shipments.

Amazon, on a global basis, doesn’t even rank in the top five tablet vendors according to IDC as it again has less than one per cent of the market.