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Tablet demand soars 130% on back of Apple's iPad, new Amazon Kindle Fire

Between Apple's iPad and the newly launched Amazon Kindle Fire, tablet sales in North America are set to reach record heights, rising 130 percent during the holidays of 2011.

Calling it "the most explosive development in the tablet market since the release of the original iPad," the Kindle Fire was found by ChangeWave Research to have strong initial demand among consumers in North America. The results of a new survey of 3,043 consumers, released on Monday, indicate that the Kindle Fire is poised to become the No. 2 selling tablet behind Apple's iPad.

Among those planning to buy a tablet device in the future, 65 percent said they would choose Apple's iPad, while 22 percent will opt for an Amazon Kindle Fire. That compares with just 4 percent of planned tablet buyers who will choose the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Beyond Samsung, no other tablet manufacturer has more than 1 percent of future tablet demand among consumers in North America.

The latest survey from ChangeWave represents the first time since the launch of the first-generation iPad that there is a double-digit contender for the No. 2 tablet spot, with the Kindle Fire set to leapfrog the competition.

The firm's analysis of the numbers suggest initial Kindle Fire demand is "a shot across the bow at Apple," but also acknowledge that the more immediate impact of the new touchscreen tablet from Amazon is on the rest of the competition, including Samsung, Motorola, Research in Motion, and Dell.

"The Amazon surge may also contain a silver lining for Apple, by damaging the tablet market hopes of the remaining competitors in the field," ChangeWave wrote.

Among the total number of customers polled, 2 percent indicated they have already ordered the Kindle Fire, while another 5 percent said they are "very likely" to purchase the device, and 12 percent indicated they are "somewhat likely." The launch of the Kindle Fire helped to push overall tablet demand to 14 percent indicating they plan to buy in the next 90 days, 8 points higher than a similar survey in August, and more than triple the level of a year ago.

But while the Kindle Fire is helping to grow the tablet market in North America, the survey also indicates that demand for Apple's iPad continues to grow, suggesting sales will not be immediately impacted by Amazon's $199 device.

ChangeWave 2

"Apple continues to show enormous strength in the tablet market, where it's enjoying the best quarter in its history, according to the survey," ChangeWave revealed.

In fact, ChangeWave found that the customer satisfaction rating for the iPad is well beyond competing tablets. A total of 74 percent of all iPad owners said they're "very satisfied" with their device, compared to just 49 percent of all other tablet manufacturers combined.

ChangeWave 2

A survey earlier this month from ChangeWave found that 26 percent of those buying a Kindle Fire at launch were delaying a purchase of Apple's iPad. For more on the Kindle Fire, see AppleInsider's in-depth review.