Holiday Surprises for Amazon Coming Early This Year
Amazon announced this week that the Kindle was the most wished for, the most gifted, and the best-selling gadget on Amazon.com for November, confirming speculation we’ve had for weeks that this holiday season would be a big one for the market-leading e-Reader.
“Kindle is a great gift for anyone who loves to read and it’s flying off the shelves faster than any other product Amazon sells,” said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We’re seeing lots of people buying from one to a handful of Kindles as gifts for friends or family, as well as many businesses and other organizations buying Kindles in large quantities for their employees or customers.”
For all the back-patting, the press release didn’t have any specific sales numbers, which would have been slightly more interesting for those of us watching the product category. The closest approximation to the health of the Kindle from Amazon is that their net sales for the third quarter of 2009 are $1.19 billion higher than the same period last year.
Of course, just because Amazon hasn’t been forthcoming with sales numbers doesn’t mean that analysts aren’t happy to take some shots at it. According to experts from the financial advisory group Collins Stewart, sales of the Kindle 2 should top 450,000 total for the year, with the Kindle DX also checking in with 100,000.
According to their analyst, the Kindle is poised to become a lynch pin of Amazon’s bottom line. While sales of the Kindle itself are productive, it’s the sale of books that is really going to going to fill the coffers. Removing the whole “print” aspect of the business streamlines their cost structure, but perhaps more important than that is the propensity of Kindle owners to purchase more books than they once did. They estimate that Kindle owners increase their book-buying habits by 2.7x after purchasing the device, a fact for which we here at KindleChat can personally attest.
Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble seems more and more resigned to handing this holiday season to Amazon. Ship dates for Nooks preordered on BN.com have moved back a week from January 4th to January 11th, putting them even farther from their goal of being under the Christmas tree this year.
Those hoping to at least get their mitts on a Nook before preordering it will also likely be disappointed. Reps from Barnes and Noble have said that only select high-volume stores will get the benefit of in-store demonstration units, and then not until December 7th. Those same stores will also stock the Nook, but only with “very limited inventory” and after an undisclosed date.
So what you see is more or less what you’re going to get for the rest of the year. Amazon is king, and the rest of the e-Reader world follows in their wake.