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Demand for Kindle Fire collapses as Apple's iPad continues to dominate

A new survey of potential tablet buyers has found that the Amazon Kindle Fire is "floundering," while Apple's iPad remains the most popular and satisfying choice for consumers.

The new data published on Tuesday by ChangeWave Research comes from a survey of 2,893 North American consumers conducted in May. It has found, once again, that Apple's iPad dominates consumer buying plans going forward.

In the next 90 days, 73 percent of consumers who plan to buy a tablet indicated they will choose Apple's iPad. That compares to just 8 percent who chose the Kindle Fire, and 6 percent who went with the Samsung Galaxy Tab brand.

Though Samsung finished in a distant third, its 6 percent managed to double its share of planned purchases since last quarter. ChangeWave said Samsung is the only manufacturer, besides Apple, who has shown any sign of strength in the tablet market.

Last year, following the launch of the Kindle Fire, ChangeWave found that the $199 device generated impressive demand from consumers, positioning the device to be the first credible competitor to the iPad. But since then, demand for the Kindle Fire has collapsed, as ChangeWave noted that Amazon's device is "floundering."

The biggest reason for this may be customer satisfaction. While 81 percent of third-generation iPad owners indicated they are "very satisfied" with their purchase, just 41 percent of Kindle Fire owners said the same, and 46 percent of Galaxy Tab owners.

The percent of consumers revealing they are "very satisfied" with the third-generation iPad is even greater than the 71 percent of iPad 2 owners who said they are "very satisfied."

ChangeWave 2

While Samsung has gained some momentum, demand for its Galaxy Tab still remains in the single digits among North American consumers. It's because of this that Dr. Paul Carton, ChangeWave's vice president of research, suggested the greatest threat to Apple's iPad might be another, rumored product from the same company: a so-called "iPad mini."

"At the moment, the greatest competitive threat to the new iPad could well be the iPad Mini — which doesn't exist yet, but even if it does, it too will be made by Apple," Carton said. "When it comes to tablets, the ChangeWave survey shows Apple continuing to exert near total control over the market."

ChangeWave asked consumers about the prospect of Apple releasing an "iPad mini," and found that 14 percent of those polled said they are "somewhat likely" to buy such a device, while 3 percent said they are "very likely." The research firm said those numbers are "highly encouraging" for Apple, while "further worrisome" for other manufacturers.

Rumors have claimed that Apple is experimenting with a new, smaller iPad with a screen size of 7.85 inches and a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels. One Wall Street analyst said this week that he expects such a device to launch this September.