Amazon’s Kindle Fire burns hot as the No. 2 tablet

Quanta, the company that builds Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet, has already shipped between 3 and 4 million of the devices. DigiTimes, which monitors hardware makers in Asia, reported the news on Friday. As if that wasn’t enough evidence about the potential success Amazon could see with the Kindle Fire(s amzn), DigiTimes reports that production orders going forward are increasing.

The data from DigiTimes gains credence from iSuppli, which also reported news related to Amazon Kindle Fire sales on Friday. The research company estimates Amazon will sell 3.9 million Kindle Fire tablets this quarter. If correct, Amazon will have leapfrogged sales of all other tablets based on Google’s Android(s goog) operating system.

To be fair, most large tablets running Android use a special, tablet-optimized version of Android called Honeycomb. Amazon chose to use the Gingerbread version of Android, which is actually aimed at smartphones. Amazon created a custom launcher and optimized its own software for use on Gingerbread, making for a tablet-like experience that can even be ported to other 7-inch tablets.

The Kindle Fire isn’t for everyone who’s shopping for a tablet due to its limitations, but what it does, it generally does well. Consumers looking for a portable slate that has no monthly charges, but can be used for movies, TV shows, books, magazines, email, web surfing and third-party apps can get that experience for $199. When I checked Amazon’s site this morning, the Kindle Fire was the most popular tablet and the most wished for on the site.

No, the Kindle Fire isn’t an iPad(s aapl), but it’s less than half the price and is backed by a comparable ecosystem of media and software. Perhaps that’s a recipe for success other Android tablet makers have overlooked when it comes to mainstream consumers, such as my wife. I bought a Kindle Fire and after just a few days, she claimed ownership and can’t seem to put the device down!