Well, love em or hate em, you’ve got to admire Amazon’s handling of the Kindle. They’ve been notorious for their sphinx-like response to questions about the actual numbers of Kindles sold. They don’t say anything!
Anyone ever curious about Kindle has by now visited the Amazon Kindle page to see that it’s been listed as sold out (or expected to ship in 3 to 5 weeks–what’s the difference?) since its launch.
Now with Kindle 2 supposedly arriving Feb. 9th, we’re finally finding out a couple things. Or are we?
A Citigroup analyst estimated 500,000 Kindles have sold in 2008. That number was determined by analyzing Amazon’s agreement with Sprint. Sprint has the job of supplying Whispernet service to the machines, so in theory this number should hold.
Of course, that is if any of the figures are accurate. We’ve got to remember that since day one Amazon’s been quiet about the actual sales figures. While it’s clear there is a growing market for eBook reading devices, it remains unproven thatÂ they’ve lined up to buy that many Kindles for almost $400 each. (by the time taxes and shipping are paid.)
I say that only as a caution. We don’t want our curiosity to drive us to the adoption of expensive technology, when less expensive machines are fast arriving on the market.
Remember, Amazon.com is also trying to justify a $9.99 eBook.Â And we all know that’s too much, yah? Treat the figures with caution until we get some kind of disclosure. If Kindle’s the best and most popular on the market, then good for Amazon. I’d hate to see us get manipulated by one of the oldest tricks in the book. (The emperor’s new clothes and Tom Sawyer come to mind.)
Engaget.com has the speculation-filled story here.