FORTUNE -- From the start, Amazon's (AMZN) plan for the Kindle family of tablets and e-readers was to sell a compelling device at or below cost that would direct customers to Amazon's online stores.
So how has that worked out for Bezos?
Not terribly well, judging from early results this holiday season. According to IBM's (IBM) Benchmark survey of Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, Kindles accounted for only 2.4% of purchases made via tablet, fewer than those made by Barnes and Noble's (BKS) Nook (3.1%) and way fewer than the iPad (88.3%).
That jibes with a new e-commerce report published by Monetate that tracked sales at 100 retailers (but not at Amazon.com) made via tablet over the past four quarters. Third quarter sales on the Kindle Fire (2.06%) were actually lower than Q2 (2.18%), as shown in the graph above created Tuesday from Monetate data by Asymco's Horace Dediu. Kindle just doesn't not seem to be a popular platform for making online purchases.
On Cyber Monday, Amazon was selling last year's Kindle Fire for $129, about $72 below cost as estimated at launch time by IHS. Economies of scale have no doubt brought those costs down since 2011, but the company is not making a lot of money on the device.
The new Kindle Fire HD, which retails for anywhere from $199 to $499 (with a $50/mos. LTE data plan) was not marked down. That's probably just as well.
A deeper look at the surge in Black Friday shopping by smartphone and tablet
FORTUNE -- One of the paradoxes of IBM's Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping report was that Apple (AAPL) mobile devices -- especially the iPad -- led the surge in online shopping, and not the Android devices that have been steadily gaining market share.
Over the weekend, Asymco's Horace Dediu took a closer look at IBM's data, which he's been tracking MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 26, 2012 8:01 AM ET
10% of online purchases -- and 88% of tablet purchases -- were made on an iPad
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) devices loomed larger than expected in IBM's (IBM) final report on this year's surge of online buying Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.
Online sales were up both days -- 17.4% and 20.7%, respectively -- from 2011. But the biggest surge came from mobile devices -- and in particular from purchases made on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2012 8:46 AM ET
Have we grown weary yet of comparing the two companies' retail efforts?
FORTUNE -- Colorado-based MacWeekend.com took a videocamera to Lone Tree's Park Meadow Mall, one of a growing number of high-end "retail resorts" that house both Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) retail outlets. The comparison is a bit unfair, as the Apple Store is considerably smaller and therefore feels busier.
"Left: worship," writes Herb Herbert in the YouTube comment field. "Right: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 24, 2012 9:38 AM ET
With refreshes across 80% of its product line, Apple devices are hot Black Friday sellers
FORTUNE -- There was a lot of chatter about Apple (AAPL) in the sales reports for Black Friday 2012.
Topeka Capital's Brian White ran down the 7% to 31% discounts in Apple's Black Friday "Come and Give It" sale -- the only day of the year Apple offers deals on any of its products. "We believe this MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 23, 2012 10:21 AM ET
PC sales were down 8% Thanksgiving week, but demand for the MacBook Air was strong
In a note to clients Thursday, Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty rattled off several reasons to explain why retail sales of personal computers in the U.S. were down 8% year over year for the week of Nov. 20 to 26, as reported by the NPD Group.
Hard drive shortages, the lingering effects of flooding in Thailand
Price reductions in MORE
As a companion piece to the comScore report Monday that Americans have spent a record $18.7 billion online so far this holiday season -- up 15% from last year -- consider this chart from Compuware APM showing the relative contributions of the two leading platforms for what it calls "couch commerce": Apple's (AAPL) iPad and iPhone.
Together, according to an earlier IBM study, the two devices accounted for 10.2% of Black Friday's online MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 5, 2011 11:10 AM ET
Macs walked out of Apple Stores at the rate of 10.1 per hour, up 23% from 2010
Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster spent the day after Thanksgiving as he has every year since 2008: standing in an Apple (AAPL) retail store counting sales. The results are summarized in the chart at right (typo his).
In eight hours, he (or his team) watched iPads and Macs walk out the door at the rate MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 28, 2011 5:30 AM ET
Online sales were up 24.3% overall. iPad shoppers were most efficient. Android less so.
Apple (AAPL) devices figured prominently in an IBM (IBM) Smarter Commerce survey issued Saturday that reported double digit increases in online sales Thanksgiving Day (up 39.3% from 2010) and Black Friday (up 24.3%) and a 200% increase in purchases made on mobile devices (from 3.2% in 2010 to 9.8% this year).
In particular: (I quote)
The Apple Shopper: Mobile shopping MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 27, 2011 6:04 AM ET
Biggest savings on Macs. Best deals on accessories. But beware the malware.
Apple (AAPL) posted its Black Friday sale prices at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time Friday and they were exactly as rumored.
The savings on Apple-branded products range from a high of 15.94% on $69 accessories like the Magic Trackpad to 7.02% -- less than the sales tax in 25 states -- on the $299 Time Capsule 2TB.
A guide to the best deals:
WARNING: MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 25, 2011 6:30 AM ET
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