There’s an interesting piece out today in Business Insider (BI), highlighting a new deal that Microsoft appears to have landed with Amazon, entitled “BIG WIN FOR MICROSOFT: Bing Is The Default Search Engine On The Kindle Fire HD.”
As you know from our previous coverage, the Kindle Fire HD is a new device out from Amazon, sporting a price tag of either $199 or $299, guts depending. Amazon’s devices have sold well, meaning that Bing will find home in the hands of a large number of new mobile gadgets in the coming months.
In absolute terms, this means that Bing will likely begin to power more mobile searches. The deal is therefore, providing that Microsoft didn’t overpay for it in one way or another, good for Bing.
It’s hard, however, to get that excited about it. According the same report in BI, Amazon moved between 4 and 6 million Fire units last year. Is that a large number? Well, no, it’s not, really. Nokia’s Lumia line of smartphones, for which the sales narrative is that they haven’t sold well, moved 4 million units in the second quarter of 2012 alone.
Therefore, compared to one Windows Phone OEM, the Fire would appear to be a smaller future unit flow of new mobile devices that run Bing. Therefore, it’s not that big a deal. A nice one, but nothing game changing.
The Fire’s sales could spike following the introduction of its new units – now – but even if doubled, compared to Bing’s real new best friend, they would still pale.
At 4 million devices a quarter, Nokia will move 16 million Lumia’s in a year. Take another 4 or 6 million Fires sold in the next year, and in the coming four quarters, the two companies could move over 20 million Bing-enabled mobile gadgets, without breaking a sweat.
Ballmer, go: “One year from now, between Windows Phone 8, Windows tablets and Windows PCs, we should see close to 400 million new devices running those operating systems.”
Discounting for future Windows Phone handset sales (of which the Lumia 820 and 920 will be component), let’s say 350 million Windows 8 devices sold. That’s assuming 50 million Windows Phone 8 device sales in the next year, a massive overcompensation. I’m being generous to make my point.
In Windows 8, since its RTM version, is a Bing application in the Metro interface. You can’t boot to desktop in Windows 8, but have to hit that Metro Start Screen instead. Thus, 350 million Windows 8 devices will be out, pushing a nicely put together Bing application.
Sure, some of those unit sold will be desktops. But laptops outsell desktops, and Microsoft thinks that tablets will outsell desktops next year. By that logic, there will be hundreds of millions of Windows 8 tablets sold in the coming year.
Now that, that is a boost for Bing. That potential install base womps what the Amazon deal offers, unless, just maybe, the Kindle line sees an explosion in popularity. But even then, it’s damn hard to fight against the scale of Windows.