Kindle Fire HD breaks into the workplace

Kindle Fire HD
Bring your own... Kindle Fire?

A survey by analyst house Forrester Research has shown Amazon's Kindle Fire HD to be the third most popular 'bring your own device' tablet for use among information workers in the US, UK, Canada, France and Germany.

Used by 9% of 5,116 information workers surveyed between February and April, the tablet ranks behind Apple's iPad (53%), and the Samsung Galaxy (18%), which Forrester points out has gained market share largely through companies issuing them to employees.

In the UK, 5% of information workers were using the Kindle Fire HD at work on a weekly basis, fewer than the 15% recorded for the US and France.

In a company blog post, Forrester analyst JP Gownder says the Kindle Fire HD has turned out to be "something of a stealth competitor in the BYOD space".

Stealth competitor

"Amazon's third place finish is pretty impressive for a consumer-oriented tablet with strong origins in ebooks and media," Gownder writes.

He adds: "The tablet doesn't have quite as strong a presence in the UK, France, or Germany (and isn't yet available in Canada) but its position in the US is a leading indicator of work usage elsewhere."

Gownder writes that the trend is down to employees bringing the Kindle Fire HD into the workplace, as it isn't sold directly to enterprises.

It has a number of work-related features, however, such as support for ActiveSync, Skype, WebEx, virtual private network (VPN), 4G connectivity on some models, and a preloaded OfficeSuite app to view Microsoft Office documents.

Amazon also offers its own free online tool Whispercast to businesses, which enables IT departments to connect Kindles to corporate networks.

Gowdner told TRPro: "I think what it really shows is that personal tablets with decent functionality on the consumer side can augment one's work life -- for at least some workers. Other workers are going to want and need much more substantive tablet experiences."

He adds: "Amazon has a higher profile in the US than in some other markets (though it's becoming formidable around the world), including more legacy E-Ink eReader device sales in the US. But I think they will continue to expand into various markets."

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.