Not entirely surprising, but worth a note: A new survey indicated Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire tablet turned into a formidable competitor to the best-selling Android tablet series Samsung’s Galaxy Tab rather than Apple’s iPad. While the Fire did take some of the shine away from the iPad, Apple’s executives (and some analysts) are not terribly worried about the Fire’s long-term impact on Apple’s tablet sales. Mobile analytics firm Flurry, tapping device-specific ad impressions in its network, found that of all Android tablets sold in January 2012, the Kindle Fire and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab grabbed 36 percent market share each.

In fact, nitpicky types could argue that the Fire (35.7-percent) marginally edged out Samsung’s devices (35.6-percent). Another way to look at this data: These two tablet brands together accounted for nearly three-quarters of all Android tablets last month. This is in stark contrast to last November when Flurry recorded a 3 percent market share for the Fire versus a whopping 63 percent for Samsung’s Tabs…

As a testament to an ecosystem Amazon built around its tablet (driven by forked version of Android), Flurry provides the below chart of paid app downloads on Galaxy Tabs versus Kindle Fire. Note: This is not an exact representative of the real world, because Flurry gathered download numbers from just five paid apps ranked in the top 10 apps in both the Amazon App Store and Android Market during January 2012. Overall, Kindle Fire drove over 2.5 times more paid downloads than the Galaxy Tabs. According to the analytics firm:

This shows that for tablets, the Amazon App Store can already deliver more direct revenue to developers than the Android Market. Even more impressive is that the Galaxy Tab, launched in November 2010, has a much larger existing installed base than the newly launched Kindle Fire. Flurry estimates that the active number of Galaxy Tabs in the market is at least twice that of the Kindle Fire.

Therefore, the Great Tablet Bloodbath is about ecosystem. Moreover, with Amazon’s vast ecosystem only second to Apple’s, little wonder that the online retailer has managed to build the most reputable and consumer-friendly Android tablet brand.

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