Amazon is experiencing decreased sales for the latest generation line of Fire Tablets. IDC has reported that Amazon Fire devices have fallen by as much as 70% compared to the holiday 2013 period. The declines come at a time when worldwide shipments in the fourth quarter fell for the first time since the tablet market's inception in 2010.
When Amazon refreshes their tablet product line, they rarely release one or two models. In 2014 the company issued a 6 inch, 7 inch, 8.9 inch and kids tablet. They only sold 1.7 million units, which shows that the new devices did not resonate with customers and most are likely quite happy with an older model.
The IDC report omits the six inch version of the Fire tablet because of its six-inch screen size. Amazon says that the device was one of its best sellers over the holiday season, although it’s unclear whether that would have a sizable impact on the statistics published by IDC.
Aside from tablets, Amazon also experienced massive woes with their ill-fated Fire Phone, which was Amazon’s first foray into the smartphone market. Third-party sales figures published in 2014 suggested that Amazon had only sold 35,000 Fire phones. Since then, Amazon has repeatedly dropped the price of the phone, eventually bringing it to just 99 cents.
I think the euphoria of Amazon products is severely waning. Everyone who wanted one already has one. There simply is no need to update your hardware every generation, because there isn’t a compelling reason to do it. Its not like the overall design and hardware specs are undergoing a paradigm shift, its all about small, incremental updates.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Corning Gorilla Glass has taken over the smartphone world. The scratch resistant display has been in every Apple iPhone since 2007, and counts Amazon, HP, Dell, Google HTC and Samsung has loyal clients. Gorilla Glass accounts for 39% of Corning’s revenue and last quarter they generated over 2.40 billion dollars.
Gorilla Glass is in its 4th generation and the company has just dropped a bombshell. The company has developed new technology called Project Phire, which combines the strength of its existing Gorilla Glass with ultra scratch-resistance like that of sapphire.
Corning Glass president James Clappin who announced the product at an investors conference said “We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn’t fare well when dropped. So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire.”
Apple is one of Corning’s biggest companies and the company planned to move away from Gorilla Glass with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, switching instead to sapphire produced by GT Advanced. The deal wasn’t able to get done due to production issues and the two sides dissolved their partnership soon thereafter.
Corning blending the scratch resistant nature of Sapphire with the sturdiness of Gorilla Glass should be a boon to the smartphone industry. It will allow the next generation of phones to be more durable but also employ an improved viewing experience.