Flurry today reported that Christmas belonged to Amazon’s tablets, which were activated 24-times more often during the holiday than they were on a typical December day. The company’s products have experienced this bump for the last three years. Jeff Bezos might as well change his name to Santa Claus.
The reason for this bump is simple: Amazon’s tablets were made to be purchased for other people. Their low prices make them easier to gift than their costlier counterparts. The Mayday button, which allows Kindle Fire owners to easily chat with customer support, might help the technologically incompetent use their new tablets. The ability to get them shipped at the last minute with Amazon Prime probably doesn’t hurt, either.
Other devices saw a slight bump in activations on Christmas, but none approach the increase seen by Amazon’s products. Besides allowing the company to get its best sales catalog into the hands of more consumers, this might also help Amazon compete with its more established rivals.
Tablets are hardly novel. Ever since the iPad’s release in 2010, tablets have become increasingly common to our everyday lives. They’re used by consumers hoping to access the latest-and-greatest apps, by restaurants hoping to better manage their tables, and by toddlers who aren’t quite ready to go to the bathroom without having a screen in front of their faces. (Never mind that this last example is definitive proof of humanity’s imminent downfall.)
It’s unlikely that many of the early adopters willing to deal with the problems that plagued early tablets — middling battery life, blurry screens, a relative dearth of software — are still without a device. Tablets have gotten better batteries, their screens are clearer, and they’re cheaper than ever before. The early adopters’ time has passed; the general consumers’ time is just beginning.
Making it easy to give its tablets away might just allow Amazon to reach that market. Its tablets didn’t capture the hearts of those worried about having access to a wide variety of apps and games or having the best hardware. But it can appeal to people who simply want to use Facebook, browse the Web, and purchase goods through one of Amazon’s many stores.
The iPad is the tablet you buy for yourself. Amazon’s latest tablets are the products you buy for other people. If the tablet market is going to grow as large as many expect, eventually supplanting desktop computers, convincing people to buy tablets for each other is likely to prove increasingly important.
And who knows? Maybe the new Saint Bezos and his army of red-winged drones will deliver many of those tablets themselves.
[Main image via Thinkstock / Graph via Flurry]