Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is Kindle Losing Momentum to Sony Reader?

Google Trends is one of my favorite tools. It lets you compare phrases to see which one is being searched most frequently in Google.

I got curious earlier today and decided to compare "amazon kindle" with "sony reader." I expected to see a major spike last November in the former and a flat line for the latter. Here's a link to the results. What do you notice?

There's definitely a spike for the Kindle and it's interesting to see how Sony benefited from that surge as well. But what's most interesting to me is how the Kindle's rate has dropped so significantly in such a short period of time and now the Sony line sits above it. Granted, the gap between the two has narrowed in the past few weeks, but still... With all the sizzle and visibility the Kindle has garnered, I was very surprised to see Sony ahead on searches.

I've got to believe the out-of-stock situation is what's killing the blue line in this graph. People are getting more impatient and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that some are going with Sony instead. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so I hope Amazon can fix this inventory situation soon; it's hard to imagine they'll get as much buzz down the road and this graph makes it appear that they're squandering the current opportunity.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe - Another possible reason for the Sony Reader having a slightly better trend line is that Sony has really stepped up advertising for its reader. I've seen print ads in airports, in subway stations and in magazines. Outside of blogs and professional reviews, I have yet to see any advertising for the Kindle.

I agree with you that the buzz for the Kindle has probably helped Sony Reader sales in the short-term. As they say, 'a rising tide brings all of the boats higher',

Anonymous said...

Also, consider that a huge chunk of people wanting to find information on the Kindle probably go right to instead of to google. Might not be the same kind of approach people looking for info on the sony reader would take. ( is just a big store, whereas with amazon, it's a community and you can go straight there and check out customer reviews of the kindle and such, but you're more likely to hit up google for info like that on the reader). make sense? I could be wrong, but it makes sense to me.

Joe Wikert said...

Anonymous, I would think the same would have held true all along. IOW, I can't think of a reason why people would search less for Kindle now than when it first launched.

The truth is that Google Trends provides one data point. I realize that there are plenty of ways to interpret this, some of them conflicting with other interpretations. But, I'm still stunned that Amazon isn't cleaning Sony's clock with the Kindle on all fronts, including Google searches.

kattebelletje said...

It might be the disappointed European customers who know they can't get a Kindle and try to search for other options instead.